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ABUTMENTS

Abstract

newly introduced in the Specifications for Highway Bridges in Japan. This paper describes

the summary of the ductility design method as well as its background. One of the features

of this method is the adoption of a new procedure to evaluate seismic active earth pressure

that is applicable up to high seismic loads based on the modified Mononobe-Okabe method.

We also conduct back-analyses of the case histories of abutments including foundations

damaged in the past earthquakes following the ductility design method proposed here. The

results from the back-analyses confirm the applicability of the ductility design method.

Introduction

Right after the 1995 Hyogo-ken Nanbu earthquake (Kobe earthquake) in Japan, the

Specifications for Highway Bridges and commentaries were revised in 1996[1, 2]. The

specification has introduced ductility design of foundations of piers as standard seismic

design against severe and rare scale earthquakes. It should be noted that the aseismic design

of piers based on the ductility design itself was not new, but had been already introduced

before the 1995 Hyogo-ken Nanbu earthquake against large earthquakes which correspond

to type I motions of level 2 earthquake motions defined in detail later.

Nevertheless, abutments and their foundations have been exception in applying the

ductility design even in the 1996 version of the specification, and the specification still

required to check that they behave elastically against level 1 earthquake motions which are

small to middle (or frequent scale) earthquakes as it had demanded in the past. The reasons

for this judgment are the following. First, because of the lack of knowledge on a proper

evaluation method of their performances, including the seismic active earth pressure at high

seismic loads, it is diﬃcult to establish any verification methods of seismic performance of

abutments and their foundations against severe earthquakes. Second, there has been no case

history in Japan where the damage to abutments or their foundations causes unseating of

girders. Third, a bridge abutment is a structure resisting against the earth pressure exerted

from the backfill at any moment, and thus it would be just pushed forward by the seismic

∗

Research Engineer, Foundation Engineering Research Team, Public Works Research Institute

†

Team Leader, ditto.

‡

Associate Professor, Institute of Industrial Science, the University of Tokyo

earth pressure even if it suﬀers residual displacements during earthquakes, which would

not directly result in the unseating of supporting girders.

foundations against large earthquakes, which controls their damage within an acceptable

extent to recover the service of road network as early as possible after the earthquakes.

After publishing our 1996 version of the specifications, we have constructed a database of

past earthquake damage to abutments or abutment foundations in Japan, and have studied

on the assessment methods which can distinguish the diﬀerent damage extents for the case

histories in our database. Separately, Koseki et al.[4] have recently proposed an evalua-

tion method of active earth pressure at high seismic loads, and it enabled us to establish

a computational method to assess seismic performance of abutment foundations. Conse-

quently, we could newly introduce the ductility design of abutment foundations into the

latest version of the Specifications for Highway Bridges revised in March 2002. The de-

sign method is based on the preceding frame work of the ductility design method of bridge

pier foundations, while some modifications are implemented to it in order to reflect the

above-mentioned peculiar mechanical characteristics of foundations of abutments. This

paper describes the verification procedure and the process of the development of the new

ductility design method of foundations of abutments.

A two stage aseismic design procedure is applied on the basis of the combinations

of the level 1 and level 2 earthquake motions and corresponding requirements of struc-

tural performance. The level 1 earthquake motions are likely to strike a structure once or

twice during the expected service period of the structure. Their peak amplitudes are small

to medium, and are around 0.2 G at the ground surface. On the other hand, the level 2

earthquake motions are extremely strong, but very unlikely to strike a structure during its

service period. The level 2 earthquake motions include two types of motions. One is called

‘type I’ motions which are generated at plate boundaries in the ocean. Their peak ampli-

tudes at the ground level are smaller than the other one although the type I motions have

longer durations. Their peak amplitudes are about 0.3 G to 0.4 G at the ground surface.

The other motions are inland strike type motions called ‘type II’ which are produced by a

fault located near the site; for example the 1995 Hyogo-ken Nanbu earthquake is catego-

rized in this type. The type II motions have high intensities but short duration. Their peak

amplitudes are set at 0.6 G to 0.8 G at the ground surface, based on the acceleration records

on the ground surface observed in the 1995 Hyogo-ken Nanbu earthquake.

In the new aseismic design procedure, all abutments and their foundations are veri-

fied against the level 1 earthquake motions so that they would cause no structural damage.

The abutment and its foundation shall remain in the elastic response region.

Next their seismic performance against the level 2 earthquake motions is checked.

However this process is not necessarily applied to all highway abutments and their founda-

tions. For only the foundations to be constructed on/in liquefiable ground, the verification

against the level 2 earthquake motions shall be conducted. In this case, the foundation

shall have the necessary strength and ductility to fulfill the structural requirements as fol-

lows: the damage to the foundation shall be limited within a level where it can be repaired

with reasonable cost and shall not cause a state where rescue operation of the bridge is not

available. These requirements refer to those for pier foundations which undergo eﬀects of

liquefaction. Consequently, the ductility design against the level 2 earthquake motions is

applied only to deep foundations in liquefiable ground.

For abutment bodies above their foundations, verification may be omitted against

the level 2 earthquake motions even in the new specification as well as in the former speci-

fications. This is because an abutment which satisfies the performance requirement for the

level 1 earthquake motions is considered to posses enough strength and ductility against

the level 2 ones. This can be also supposed by the past damage case histories. It should be

noted that some structural details need to be specified in order to supplement skipping the

assessment of the seismic performance against the level 2 earthquake motions. The new

specification requires to arrange lateral confining reinforcements in the abutment body so

as to improve its ductility. It also demands to include the same amount of longitudinal

reinforcements on the front side of the cross section of the abutment body as those on its

back side in order to prevent excessive bending failure and diagonal tensile failure caused

by contacting of the abutment with the deck.

We made a list of damaged abutments including foundations from the past damage

reports of recent large earthquakes in Japan. We selected typical cases from the list as is

summarized in Table 1. Table 1 exhibits contents of damage, height of abutment from the

bottom of pile cap, bearing condition, and equivalent thickness of liquefiable soil strata,

which is explained below, for each case. Note that we here picked up only case histo-

ries damaged by the type II earthquake motions to simplify the comparison among these

cases, because the behavior of abutments, foundations, and sub-soil layers would highly

depend on characteristics of seismic motions, e.g. the number of cycles, duration time, and

the intensity of earthquakes. All abutments that were finally picked up are supported by

group-pile foundation. Note also that pile foundations are employed for about a half of

the highway bridge foundations in Japan, in particular those are constructed in deep soft or

deep loose soil layers.

We judged the rank of damage based on the contents of damage for each case. In

Table 1 List of past damage case histories of abutments and computed nonlinear response of their

pile foundations

Case Earth- Rank Damage Height bearing Equivalent Response

quake* of of condition thickness of ductility

damage** abutment liquefiable factor

(m) soil strata

HE (m)

A 1 4 - spalling of concrete around anchor bolts of 9.8 move 6.8 3.2

bearings

- movement of abutment (10 cm)

B 1 4 - tilting of abutment, shear collapse of wing- 5 move 19.7 4.2

wall

- slumping of backfill (1.0 m)

C 2 3 - tilting of abutment 3.3 move 18 not

- cracks in parapet wall yield

- outward movement of foundation (11 cm at

the top of the foundation)

D 1 3 - outward movement of abutment 5.5 fix 13.4 1.8

- slumping of backfill

E 1 2 - slumping of backfill (20 cm) 8.5 move 3 not

- collapse of bearings yield

F 1 2 - damage of abutment 8.8 move 3.2 1.4

- cracks in the surface of approach road

G 1 2 - cracks in parapet wall 10.3 move 6.9 1.1

- bump at the connection part between abut-

ment and backfill

H 1 2 - cracks of abutment 7 move 8 2

- collapse of side-blocks of bearings

- exchange of bearings in repair works

- slight slumping of backfill

I 1 2 - slumping of backfill 6.5 fix 1 1.2

J 1 2 - shrinkage of spacing of expansion joint 12.3 fix 0 2.9

- excessive movement of bearing

- bump in backfill

K 1 1 - a little spalling of concrete of abutment 6.6 fix 11.9 1.9

L 1 1 - shrinkage of spacing of expansion joint 7.5 move 4.7 1

- cracks in parapet wall

- bump in backfill

M 1 1 - shrinkage of spacing of expansion joint 6 fix 0.5 1.3

* ‘1’: the 1995 Hyogo-ken Nanbu earthquake, ‘2’: the 2000 Western Tottori earthquake.

** Refer to Table 2

doing so, we set a four-tier criterion for the damage rank emphasizing whether the service

of the bridge was available or not right after the earthquake. The larger the number of the

rank, the more disastrous the damage. The relation among the ranks, serviceability and

repairability, and details of damage is displayed in Table 2. The serviceability indicates

the eﬀect of the damage to the abutment or its foundation on the service or function of

the bridge right after the earthquake, and the repairability represents whether the complete

recover of the abutment and its foundation was possible by repair work with reasonable

cost or not.

HE = H1∗ + H2∗

Table 2 Categorization of the degree of damage

Rank of 1 2 3 4

damage

Degree of slight medium to large severe

damage

Service- Fully operational Operational with No operation tem- Impossible

ability some restrictions porarily while doing

w.r.t weight of emergency counter-

vehicles and speed measure works**

limit

Repair- Easy* Possible with minor Possible with major Impossible (Recon-

ability repair works repair works struction)

Typical - shrinkage of spac- - slumping of back- - horizontal move- - excessive horizon-

damage ing of expansion fill ment or rotation of tal movement or ex-

contents joint abutment cessive rotation of

abutment

- cracks of parapet - cracks of structural - excessive slumping - collapse of struc-

wall members of backfill tural members

- collapse of parapet

wall

** e.g., operational with some restrictions after constructing temporary bents

H2∗ = 1.0HFL1 + 0.5HFL2 (10 m ≤ z ≤ 20 m),

where z is the depth of soil layer from the ground level, H 1∗ is the thickness of liquefiable

soil strata estimated for strata in between z = 0 m and z = 10 m, and H 2∗ is the one estimated

for strata in between z = 10 m and z = 20 m, where the origin of the ground level GL is set

at the bottom of pile cap. H FL1 is the sum of the thicknesses of the soil strata for which the

values of factor of safety against liquefaction F L are assessed to be less than or equal to 0.6,

HFL2 is the sum of those with 0.6 < F L ≤ 0.8, and HFL3 is the sum of those with F L > 0.8.

This index has been proposed as one of indices in a past guideline for the assessment of

earthquake resistance of existing bridges. The equivalent thickness involves the eﬀects that

the shallower the location of the liquefiable soil stratum is, the larger the impact of the

liquefaction of that stratum is on the horizontal bearing capacity of the foundation against

loads acting on its top, and that the smaller the value of F L is, the larger the loss of soil

stiﬀness is. In this study, we estimated the values of F L by following the procedures for the

type II seismic motions described in the currently eﬀective specification[5].

An example of the cases with the damage rank 4 is shown below. The case ‘B’ in

Table 1 is the abutments of Higashi Uozaki bridge which collapsed by the 1995 Hyogo-ken

constraint by contact with deck

tensile

force earth

pressure

residual horizontal

displacement

loss of

subgrade reaction

liquefied soil strata

Photo 1 Failure of abutments of Higashi abutments of Higashi Uozaki bridge

Uozaki bridge[3]

Nanbu earthquake[3]. This bridge passed over a canal, and had a total length of 64.8 m with

three spans. The abutments were cantilever-type walls with pile foundations consisting of

H-shaped steel piles. Photo 1 shows the failure of the A1 abutment. The A1 abutment

rotated backward and large cracks widespread on the front face of the abutment. Besides,

in the A2 abutment wall, shear collapse with widely opening cracks on the front face was

also observed. Based on the observation that the backfill of the abutments slumped, we

estimated that the abutments suﬀered residual horizontal displacement. The subsoil layers

consist of loose or soft soils, namely slime, sand, silty sand, and clay with SPT-N blow

counts of zero to six till 14.7 m deep from the river bed. Sand boils caused by liquefaction

were observed, and the revetment suﬀered outward lateral movement in the direction to the

canal. As is illustrated in Figure 1, the backward rotation of the abutment accompanied

with a lot of cracks on its front face may have occurred as follows:

1) the liquefaction of the subsoil layers resulted in the shortage of horizontal subgrade

reaction to support the foundation;

2) the foundation was pushed outward by the earth pressure acting on the back face of

the abutment and the inertial force of the abutment itself;

3) the decks constrained the above lateral movement at the top of the abutment;

4) the foundation and the lower part of the abutment continued to move laterally with

the above constraint, and a large tensile force by bending was mobilized at the front

face of the abutment.

The cause of damage to ‘A’ abutment in Table 1 which is categorized into the rank 4 is

also the lateral movement of foundation. It was possibly triggered by loss of horizontal

subgrade reaction induced by liquefaction of subsoil layers.

Figure 2 shows the relation between the damage rank and the equivalent thickness

of liquefiable soil strata for the abutments listed in Table 1. Although no unique relation

except for some positive correlation can be found, this figure implies that there is a pos-

sibility of severe damage (the rank 4) if the equivalent thickness of liquefiable soil strata

exceeds five meters. These case histories suggest that liquefaction of subsoil layers is the

primary cause of damage to abutments and their foundations.

Based on the damage mechanism estimated above, it is expected that we can pre-

vent abutments from severe damage as long as the possible displacement of the foundation

of an abutment during an earthquake is well-controlled even though liquefaction of the

subsoil layers may occur. Therefore the ductility design of abutments is applied to only

their foundations, and the specification requires us to carry out it when the subsoil layers

are considered to be liquefiable.

In the ductility design method, eﬀects of earthquakes are modeled with pseudo-

static loads, namely seismic active earth pressure acting on the back face of the backfill

located on footing, inertial force acting on the backfill, abutment itself (wall), and footing,

and horizontal reaction from deck as shown in Figure 3. It would be reasonable to evaluate

the intensities of these pseudo-static loads based on the characteristics of their dynamic

responses considering the eﬀects of liquefaction. However the quantitative evaluation of

these eﬀects is not well established. Thereby, we set practically the intensities of these

seismically induced loads as follows. Note that we do not take the vertical component of

seismic motions into account in accordance with the customary practice.

The design horizontal seismic coeﬃcient for evaluating seismic active earth pres-

sure and the inertial force of backfill located on footing is obtained as c A khg , where khg is

the design horizontal seismic coeﬃcient at ground surface, and c A is the modification factor

for the amplification of acceleration in the backfill as well as in the adjacent embankment.

For simplicity, we assume that c A = 1 here. In Figure 3, khA denotes the design horizontal

seismic coeﬃcient to determine the inertial forces of abutment and footing. We also as-

sume that khA = cA khg here, because the behavior of abutments during earthquakes would

be dominated by that of the backfill and embankment. The coeﬃcient η to be multiplied

by horizontal reaction force from deck in Figure 3 represents the eﬀect of phase diﬀer-

ence between the horizontal response of superstructure and that of embankment. However,

we adopt that η = 1 here for simplicity, and assume the direction of the horizontal reac-

tion force from deck to be forward to result in more severe load conditions for abutment

η× reaction

4 force from

deck cA khg

HE = 5 m

cA khg failure

Rank of damage

khA

3 plane

2 khA

earth pressure

1

0 10 20

Equivalent thickness of liquefiable

soil strata HE (m)

ness of liquefiable soil strata and the Figure 3 Schematic figure of numerical model

rank of damage

and widely accepted in a lot of design specifications or manuals as an evaluation method

of seismic active earth pressure. Examples of seismic active earth pressure coeﬃcients ob-

tained by the M-O method are shown in Figure 4a with dotted lines, where k h is horizontal

seismic coeﬃcient; K EA is seismic active earth pressure coeﬃcient; φ is the internal friction

angle of embankment soil; δ is the friction angle at the interface between backfill located

on footing and embankment; and we assume the surface of embankment to be horizontal

and the back face of backfill on footing to be vertical. Designers usually employ φ = 30

to 40 degrees as the internal friction angle of embankment soil in the evaluation of earth

pressure. These values of φ are equivalent to residual strength of dense or relatively hard

soils in general. As their representative value, φ = 35 degrees was employed in Figure 4.

The levels of khg , the design horizontal seismic coeﬃcient, at the ground surface are 0.6

to 0.8 in the ductility design, while it can be seen from Figure 4a that the values of K EA

with φ = 35 degrees cannot be obtained at such levels. Moreover, we examine the ratio

of failure zone length L as defined in Figure 4b to height H of abutment from the bottom

of footing. From the viewpoint of design practice, the failure zone length L indicates the

zone where settlement of road connecting to bridge may occur. The relations between L/H

and kh obtained by the M-O method are plotted with dotted lines in Figure 4b. When the

value of kh reaches 0.6 to 0.8, the values of L/H predicted by the M-O method with φ = 35

KEA (a) Embankment

L/H (b) L

Interface

Backfill modified 4

2 M-O M-O method

φpeak = 50◦ H φ = 50◦

δ

failure φres = 35◦ δ = 35◦ /2

plane

failure plane

resultant force

of earth pressure 2 c

1 c M-O method

M-O method

φ = 35◦

φ = 35◦ δ = 35◦ /2 b

present

δ = 35◦ /2

M-O method modified M-O method

φ = 50◦ a

b φpeak = 50◦ , φres = 35◦

a δ = 35◦ /2

0 0

0 0.5 1 0 0.5 1

kh kh

Figure 4 Seismic active earth pressure and failure zone of embankment (a, b, c: formation of first,

second, and third failure planes, respectively, in modified M-O method)

Now we recall the behavior of dense sand obtained by an element test (plane strain

compression test). Firstly the soil element is subjected to the process of strain hardening;

and then the element comes to mobilize the peak strength, and a shear band (or failure

plane) starts to emerge progressively; after that, strain softening process evolves, accom-

panying with the development of the shear band; finally the residual strength is mobilized.

Since backfill on footing of abutment and embankment soils are well-compacted, it would

be reasonable to take this behavior into the estimation of seismic active earth pressure. Ac-

cording to the above behavior, one can consider the following mechanism on the formation

of failure planes in the embankment soil and the mobilization of active earth pressure:

• the angle of failure plane is associated with the peak internal friction angle of em-

bankment soil, because the peak strength is mobilized in the soil elements when the

shear banding starts, and

• the value of active earth pressure is associated with the residual internal friction an-

gle, since the postpeak reduction of internal friction angle evolves after the formation

of shear band (or along the failure plane that has been already formed).

Based on the above hypotheses, the modified Mononobe-Okabe method has been proposed

by Koseki et al.[4]

M-O method with dash lines, where we assume the peak internal friction angle φ peak to be

50 degrees and the residual one φres to be 35 degrees; we also assume that the first failure

plain is formed at kh = 0; and we set the values of δ to be φpeak /2 until the formation of the

first failure plane (at kh = 0) and to be φres /2 after that, as the value of δ at the interface

between soils has been empirically set to be φ/2 in applying the original M-O method. In

the modified M-O method, after the formation of the first failure plane, the same failure

plane continues to be activated unlike the result from the original M-O method, because the

peak strength will be mobilized along any other failure plane in the embankment excluding

the first failure plane along which the residual strength is mobilized. However, when the

seismic coeﬃcient kh is increased to a certain level, another failure plane will be activated,

because it gives the extremum of seismic active earth pressure, and at this level the second

failure plane is formed. The third, fourth, and other consecutive failure planes will be

formed in a similar manner.

The modified M-O method has a couple of advantages in comparison with the orig-

inal M-O method as can be seen in Figure 4. One is that the modified M-O method can

provide active earth pressure coeﬃcient at large earthquake loads, even though the values

of kh get to 0.6 to 0.8 which are considered in the seismic design against the level 2 earth-

quakes. Another advantage is that the modified M-O method provides considerably smaller

and much realistic size of active failure zone in embankment than the conventional method

yields. In not only model test results on retaining structures but also case histories of actual

railway retaining walls damaged in the 1995 Hyogo-ken Nanbu earthquake, the observed

angle of failure planes formed in backfill cannot be explained without introducing the peak

strength of soils, as has been reported by Koseki et al.[7, 8] Consequently, the modified

M-O method has been introduced into the new specification.

We, however, have given some engineering judgments to the original paper by

Koseki et al.[4] in order to make the modified M-O method more suitable for practical

use. In the modified M-O method, we have to estimate the level of k h at the formation of

the first failure plane. Since, at this moment, no reasonable method to evaluate it has been

established, we give zero value to the level of kh at which the first failure plane emerges.

This is because a failure plane can be formed due to a slight displacement of foundation

under the working load conditions. Next, we assume that no more failure planes appear

after the second failure plane is activated. This is because when the third failure plane

appears, the embankment should have already deformed largely, and it is considered that

the application of limit equilibrium approaches would be diﬃcult at such a level. Thirdly,

although we can derive both the first and second failure planes, we take only the second

failure plane into account in estimating the seismic active earth pressure coeﬃcient K EA

values for all the values of kh , because the second failure plane would be usually active

at the ground acceleration level of 0.6 to 0.8 G corresponding to the level 2 earthquake

motions. From the viewpoint of practical design, this assumption is reasonable, since this

gives us the values of K EA close to those which have been used in the past design practice

at the ground acceleration levels of around 0.2 G corresponding to the level 1 earthquake

motions. Hence the dimensions of abutments and their foundations can become similar to

those based on the past design practice.

The solid straight line in Figure 4 shows the results obtained by applying these

engineering judgments to the results from the modified M-O method. The K EA values can

be formulated as a linear function with respect to the horizontal seismic coeﬃcient k h .

Around the acceleration level of 0.2 G, the present method yields the values of K EA close

to those estimated by the original M-O method with φ res = 35 degrees. Eventually, in

the newly revised specification, we have adopted the following equations to evaluate the

seismic active earth pressure coeﬃcients,

KEA = 0.26 + 0.97kh for dense sandy soil (2)

equations, it is assumed that the internal friction angles of dense sand and gravel are φ peak =

50 degrees and φres = 35 degrees, and those of dense sandy soil are φpeak = 45 degrees and

φres = 30 degrees. In addition, as mentioned before, it is also assumed that δ = φ peak /2

until initiating the first failure plane and δ = φ res /2 after that.

would accumulate to one-way direction during an earthquake especially once the founda-

tion reaches yielding, because of the earth pressure acting on backfill on footing at any

moment. Many experimental studies have revealed this type of behavior. However, it is

diﬃcult to predict the progressive movement of the foundation of an abutment since non-

linear hysteresis characteristic of foundation as well as that of seismic active/passive earth

pressure is not well-known. In the ductility design method of foundations of abutments, we

employ pushover analysis in order to grasp collapse behavior as a global foundation sys-

tem, and, in addition, we apply so-called ‘energy conservation method’ to the result from a

pushover analysis so as to estimate the possible response ductility factor of the foundation

system.

displacement of the top of an abutment ∆ is employed for an evaluation of a nonlinear

response of the foundation by the energy conservation method. Before carrying out the

pushover analysis, we apply vertical dead loads and the active earth pressure that is evalu-

ated at kh = 0 in Eqs. (1) and (2) to the abutment in order to derive the initial displacement

of the foundation ∆i .

The reasons why we employ the pushover analysis and the energy conservation

method are as follows. Firstly it may not be necessary to utilize sophisticated methods,

kh (=acc./g)

khA

∆r

µr = acc.: horizontal acceleration

yield ∆y

point g: the acceleration of gravity

µr : response ductility factor

∆y : yield displacement

∆r : response displacement

∆

∆i ∆y ∆r

initial displacement

Figure 5 Estimation of response ductility factor

since the reliability and accuracy of them in predicting the dynamic behavior of abutment

systems including foundations and embankments are not well-known. Secondly we can

point out the characteristics of the intensity and duration of the design earthquake motions.

When we consider the type II seismic motions which have a few number of cycles with

high intensity and short duration, like those of the 1995 Hyogo-ken Nanbu earthquake, the

displacement assessed by means of the energy conservation method employing their peak

horizontal acceleration would be predominant, and the accumulation of the progressive

movement may be omitted. For example, the energy conservation method is valid theoret-

ically for an elasto-plastic response of a single DOF system undergoing an impulse input

motion, which is relatively similar to the type II seismic motion. On the other hand, the

type I seismic motions have a large number of cycles. However the acceleration intensity

of each cycle is less than those of the type II seismic motions as has been explained in the

section of “Fundamentals of seismic design of abutments and their foundations”. Thereby,

it is not diﬃcult to achieve enough strength of the foundation of an abutment against the

type I earthquake motions. In other words, there are few possibilities of the occurrence of

excessive residual displacement against the type I seismic motions with a lot of cycles as

long as we assure the response ductility factor of the foundation to be small enough by pro-

viding an adequate strength against the type II motions. Based on the above consideration,

in the newly revised specification, the verification against the level 2 earthquake motions

is required only against the type II earthquake motions.

the same as that for foundations of piers. With respect to group-pile foundations of piers,

the specification recommends that a response ductility factor should not exceed four. This

recommendation is based on results from experimental studies on large scale models of

group-pile foundations subjected to cyclic loads, such as those conducted by PWRI[9,

10]. However, as has been discussed in the previous section, the behavior of foundations

of abutments is more complicated than that of foundations of piers. Hence, in order to

confirm the applicability of the design method and to determine the allowable ductility

factor empirically, we conducted back-analyses of case histories on the thirteen abutment

foundations as listed in Table 1 following the design method proposed above and compared

the results with their actual damage ranks.

summary of the employed models is illustrated in Figure 3. Nonlinear properties in terms

of the bending of piles are considered by evaluating their moment-curvature relations. The

resistance of pile against the axial force is modeled as an elastic-perfectly plastic bilinear

model by setting its yield points at the ultimate bearing capacity and the ultimate pull-

out capacity, respectively, against the compression and pull-out forces. The horizontal

subgrade reaction is modeled by using a distributed spring having a bilinear property.

mate the ground acceleration and the degrees of the reduction of soil stiﬀness caused by

liquefaction based on the specification[5] for the type II earthquake motions. Second, for

several foundations of which the details of the arrangements of reinforcement bars are un-

known, we carry out re-designs based on the specifications that were eﬀective when they

were constructed. Third, we assume that all the embankments at the back of the abutments

are with good quality and well compacted, and hence we set the internal friction angles of

the embankment to be 50 degrees for the peak strength and to be 35 degrees for the residual

strength.

To simplify the back-analyses, we regard the yield point shown in Figure 5 for

the relation between horizontal seismic coeﬃcient kh and displacement at the top of an

abutment ∆ as the state when all piles reach yielding or when a compressive reaction force

at a pile top reaches its bearing capacity. These criteria are suggested in the specification,

and usually yield almost the same point as the one obtained by the so-called ‘log k h -log ∆

analysis’. Furthermore we assume the kh -∆ curve as an idealized elastic-perfectly plastic

bilinear curve as shown in Figure 5.

The computed response ductility factors are listed in Table 1, and are compared

with the actual damage ranks in Figure 6. Note that two abutments do not reach yielding

in the pushover analysis. In such cases, the response ductility factors are set as one in

Figure 6. It is seen that a foundation can avoid severe damage categorized as the rank 4

when it is designed to yield the value of response ductility factor less than two or three. In

other words, if the foundation of an abutment is given a capacity with the value of response

ductility factor being less than two or three and if the foundation consists of well-designed

members, it would satisfy the required seismic performance against the design earthquake

motions. Although all the foundations analyzed herein are pile foundation, we consider that

this result can be applicable to any other type

4

of deep foundation. Therefore, the newly

revised Specifications for Highway Bridges

recommend that the limit value of response

Rank of damage

ductility factor of foundations of abutments 3

should be µr = 3.

some limitations still exist with respect to

our proposed assessment method. For in-

stance, the value of response ductility factor 1

for the case ‘C’ abutment listed in Table 1 1 2 3 4

is one (i.e. no yielding) although its dam- Response ductility factor

age is classified into the rank 3. This abut-

Figure 6 Comparison between computed re-

ment was damaged in the 2000 Western Tot-

sponse ductility factor and the rank of

tori earthquake[11]. It had supported a deck

actual damage

built over a canal with a simple single span

of 17.4 m. The canal had a revetment con-

sisting of a leaning-type retaining wall using concrete blocks. According to the damage

survey report[11], it is confirmed that the surrounding ground liquefied and spread later-

ally, causing a residual displacement of the revetment over 1 m. The equivalent thickness

of liquefiable soil strata for this case is much larger than that for the other cases, so that we

can suppose that this foundation was damaged by the lateral spreading of the ground down

to its deeper position. Because the eﬀect of lateral spreading of the ground is not consid-

ered in the assessment method employed here, the computed result does not coincide with

the actual damage for this case.

Concluding remarks

This paper explains the ductility design of abutment foundations of highway bridges

and its background, which has been newly introduced in the Specifications for Highway

Bridges revised in 2002. The design method developed here is a simple and practical

one, and its applicability is confirmed based on results from back-analyses of damage case

histories. However some limitations still remain to be improved, such as those on the

load-combinations, the computation procedure of progressive movement of foundations of

abutments, and the safety evaluation method of abutment walls. A study on the damage

control design against the lateral spreading of ground induced by its liquefaction is also re-

quired. We hope that this paper contributes to the progress of seismic design of abutments

and their foundations.

Acknowledgment This research was performed for the revision of the Specifications for

Highway Bridges in Japan. We particularly acknowledge the Working Group for Seis-

mic Design of Abutments chaired by Dr. M. Saeki set in the Committee for Substructures

chaired by Dr. M. Okahara established in the Japan Road Association for their comments

and supports to our work.

References

[1] Japan Road Association (1996): Specifications for Highway Bridges, Part V, Seismic Design,

Maruzen, Tokyo (in Japanese, but translated into English and edited by Unjoh, S. and Te-

rayama, T. as the technical memorandum of EED, PWRI., No. 9801, 1998.)

[2] Japan Road Association (1996): Specifications for Highway Bridges, Part IV, Substructures,

Maruzen, Tokyo (in Japanese).

[3] Editorial Committee for the Report on the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Disaster (1996): Report

on the Hanshin-Awaji Earthquake Disaster, Damage to Civil Engineering Structures, Bridge

Structures, JSCE, Tokyo (in Japanese).

[4] Koseki, J., Tatsuoka, F., Munaf, Y., Tateyama, M., and Kojima, K. (1998): A modified

procedure to evaluate active earth pressure at high seismic loads, Special Issue of Soils and

Foundations, pp. 209-216.

[5] Japan Road Association (2002): Specifications for Highway Bridges, Part V, Seismic Design,

Maruzen, Tokyo (in Japanese).

[6] Japan Road Association (2002): Specifications for Highway Bridges, Part IV, Substructures,

Maruzen, Tokyo (in Japanese, but the translated into English and edited one will be published

in 2003 as a technical memorandum of the Foundation Engineering Research Team, PWRI.)

[7] Koseki, J., Munaf, Y., Tateyama, M., Kojima, K., and Horii, K. (1999): Back analysis of

case histories and model tests on seismic stability of retaining walls, Eleventh Asian Regional

Conf. on Soil Mech. and Geotech. Eng. (ed. Hong et al.), pp. 399-402, Balkema, Rotterdam.

[8] Koseki, J., Watanabe, K., Tateyama, M., and Kojima, K. (2001): Seismic earth pressures

acting on reinforced-soil and conventional type retaining walls, Landmarks in Earth Rein-

forcement (ed. Ochiai et al.), Swets & Zeitlinger (Balkema), Vol. 1, pp. 393-398.

[9] Nakano, M. and Kimura, Y. (1996): Seismic design of pile foundation, Proc. of the Third

US-Japan WS on Seismic Retrofit of Bridges, Vol. 3, pp. 343-355.

[10] Fukui, J., Kimura, Y., Ishida, M., and Nanazawa, T. (1997): Strength and ductility character-

istics of highway bridge foundations, Proc. of 29th UJNR, Technical memorandum of PWRI,

No. 3524, pp. 567-582.

[11] Sasaki, T., Matsuo, O., Kobayashi, H., Watanabe, T., and Maeda, T. (2001): A back-analysis

of the eﬀects of the lateral spreading of the ground on the foundation of an abutment damaged

in the 2002 Western Tottori earthquake, Proc. of 56th Annual Conf. of JSCE, III-A, pp. 230-

231 (in Japanese).

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