Publish and Present
Bulkheads are used in many seismically active areas; however, detailed guidelines for the performance-based seismic design of bulkheads are not available to practitioners. The geotechnical design approach for bulkhead design under earthquake conditions has historically used approaches developed for dry, uniform soils, rigid walls, or piles, with adjustments intended to account for wall flexibility. The ASCE COPRI Task Committee for Seismic Design of Bulkheads (Task Committee) has reviewed these design methods and developed a suggested approach for geotechnical design of anchored bulkheads under seismic loading conditions. This approach will be part of a new ASCE Manual of Practice for Seismic Design of Anchored Bulkheads
Geotechnical design of anchored bulkheads is largely dependent on the static and seismic increment of active lateral earth pressures acting on the bulkhead, and the lateral resistance available through passive earth pressure and anchor systems. Soil liquefaction can further complicate bulkhead design because it results in reduced resistance and increased pressures. The Task Committee has developed practice-oriented guidelines for force- and displacement-based seismic design, focusing on development of lateral earth pressures and resistance (passive) springs that can be implemented in both geotechnical and structural engineering methods of analysis. This approach was developed through an integrative approach between geotechnical engineers and structural engineers on the Task Committee, and reviewed by an external panel of subject matter experts. This paper summarizes the strengths and weaknesses of current design methods, and provides suggested practice-oriented, force- and displacement-based analysis approaches for use by geotechnical engineers.