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RE: retaining wall seismic design

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Take a look at Corps of Engineer's publication EM 1110-2-2502, Retaining and
Flood Walls, Section 3-26. (Available at 

In general, earthquake pressures add to the driving soil pressure and reduce
the resisting soil pressure. 

William C. Sherman, PE
(Bill Sherman)
CDM, Denver, CO
Phone: 303-298-1311
Fax: 303-293-8236
email: shermanwc(--nospam--at)

-----Original Message-----
From: YI [mailto:YI(--nospam--at)] 
Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2004 2:52 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: retaining wall seismic design

Can anyone give me some references for seismic design of retaining
structures?  Thanks.

I'll try to explain the situation I have.

I have a concrete building partially below grade.  The inside clear height
is approx. 20' +/-, the walls will be cast in place retaining wall, retain
about 17' +/- of soil on three sides of the building.  The roof will be
pre-cast planks with topping slab.  The building is about 100' x 100'.  The
concrete topping slab will be the rigid diaphragm on the roof.  How would
the seismic load from retained soil be appliced to the diaphragm, since
there will be equal amount of retaining at the opposite sides of the
building.  If the retained soil is in contact with the retaining wall at all
time, then there won't be much of diaphragm force, only thing left is the
axial compression left in the planks.  

Y i   Y a n g,   P. E.             
Santa Rosa, California

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