Simple wave solution for seismic earth pressures on nonyielding walls

Panos Kloukinas, Miltiadis Langousis, George Mylonakis*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Design of retaining walls for earthquake action is traditionally performed by limit analysis procedures-notably the classical solution of Mononobe-Okabe and its variants. Fundamental assumptions of these methods are (1) the static nature of seismic excitation, (2) the compliance in sliding and/or rocking of the base of the wall, (3) the shear failure of the backfill and the soil-wall interface, and (4) the prespecified point of application of soil thrust. Given the restrictive nature of these assumptions, alternative solutions based on wave-propagation theory have been developed that do not require failure of the backfill and thereby are applicable to nonyielding walls. Because of the complex mathematics involved, the use of these solutions in practice appears to be limited. A special integration technique inspired from the seminal work of Vlasov and Leontiev is presented, which simplifies the analysis by providing closed-form solutions suitable for practical use.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1514-1519
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2012


  • Dynamic analysis
  • Earth pressures
  • Earthquakes
  • Retaining walls
  • Winkler model


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