Back-analysis of a seismically induced highway embankment failure during the 1999 Duzce earthquake

Aydan O., Ulusay R.

ENVIRONMENTAL GEOLOGY, vol.42, no.6, pp.621-631, 2002 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 42 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2002
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00254-002-0565-4
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.621-631
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: No


An earthquake of magnitude 7.2 on the Richter scale occurred on 12 November 1999 in the Duzce-Bolu region of Turkey. The region was also hit approximately 3 months before during the devastating Kocaeli earthquake. of 17 August 1999. Besides high casualties and damage to various engineering structures arid buildings, slope and embankment failures on the highway and the country roads occurred: In this study the authors are concerned with the back-analysis of an. embankment failure that occurred on the four lanes E-5 highway connecting Ankara to Istanbul at Bakacak in the Bolu Province during the 1999 Duzce earthquake. Both pseudo-dynamic and dynamic limiting equilibrium methods are used to back analyse the conditions for the initiation of failure and also displacement responses of the embankment during, the earthquake shaking. After having given a brief summary of the investigations on the post-failure state, the geology and geotechnical characteristics of the site, and the dynamic limiting equilibrium method developed and used for. analyses are described: The results of the back-analysis based on a pseudo-dynamic approach, revealed that the maximum ground acceleration to initiate the failure of. the embankment was probably about 0.125 g. On the other hand, the application of a method for computing the displacement and velocity responses of the failed embankment-showed that the-failure was possible when the embankment was subjected to ground accelerations similar to that recorded at the Duzce station. In addition, the computations also revealed that the time history of accelerations could be very important for the failure of slopes and embankments.