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Structural Monitoring and Maintenance
  Volume 3, Number 2, June 2016 , pages 129-144

Existing concrete dams: loads definition and finite element models validation
Martina Colombo, Marco Domaneschi and Aldo Ghisi

    We present a methodology to validate with monitoring data finite element models of existing concrete dams: numerical analyses are performed to assess the structural response under the effects of seasonal loading conditions, represented by hydrostatic pressure on the upstream-downstream dam surfaces and thermal variations as recorded by a thermometers network. We show that the stiffness effect of the rock foundation and the surface degradation of concrete due to aging are crucial aspects to be accounted for a correct interpretation of the real behavior. This work summarizes some general procedures developed by this research group at Politecnico di Milano on traditional static monitoring systems and two significant case studies: a buttress gravity and an arch-gravity dam.
Key Words
    existing concrete dams; thermal analysis; finite element model; validation; monitoring data
Martina Colombo, Marco Domaneschi and Aldo Ghisi: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, Italy

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