Geotechnical and Seismic Design Considerations for Earth Dams in the Philippines

Author: Gian Paulo D. Reyes (MSCE), Roy Anthony C. Luna (MSCE), Luis Ariel B. Morillo, Ramon D. Quebral (PhD), Arlene Q. Buenaventura-Paulino, Aloysius Kristoffer Alipio, and Patrick Adrian Y. Selda

Presenter: Gian Paulo D. Reyes

The Philippines, an archipelago with a population of more than 100 million, is one of the countries most exposed to various natural hazards: seismic hazards and climate-related hazards. In more recent years, significant progress was made in the development of design codes and standards, incorporating hazard mitigation and risk reduction, as well state-of-the-art approach and methodology for seismic analysis and design. These include the National Structural Code of the Philippines (NSCP) in 2015, and the Design Guidelines, Criteria and Standards (DGCS), published also in 2015 by the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH), the government’s engineering agency. Most recently, in January 2018, the Philippine Earthquake Model – a probabilistic seismic hazard analysis of the Philippine archipelago, was published by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

One of the major infrastructures built in the Philippines are earth dams, which are used for irrigation, hydropower, water supply, inland navigation, mining material storage, and flood control. The safety and resilience of existing dams, as well as new ones, has become a major concern in recent years, considering the occurrences of destructive earthquakes in the past 5-10 years.

This paper presents the current state of practice of geotechnical and seismic design of dams in the Philippines. Design codes (both international and local), design methodology, local conditions and area-specific design considerations are presented. The need for reasonably comprehensive geotechnical investigation and site-specific seismic hazard analysis was emphasized. A case study involving the design of a 25-meter high water dam is presented.


16th Asian Regional Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering 2019

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