A closed-form solution for seismic passive earth pressure behind a retaining wall supporting cohesive–frictional backfill

Research paper by Yu-liang Lin, Xiao Yang, Guo-lin Yang, Yun Li, Lian-heng Zhao

Indexed on: 14 Jun '16Published on: 13 Jun '16Published in: Acta Geotechnica


The evaluation of seismic passive earth pressure is an important aspect in designing safe retaining walls. In this paper, a slice analysis method is adopted to study the nonlinear distribution of seismic passive earth pressure while considering most of the possible parameters. The closed-form expressions for the resultant force of seismic passive earth pressure, earth pressure distribution, and its application position are obtained. The explicit solution for the critical failure angle of seismic passive earth pressure is proposed by simplifying the relation between the resultant force and the failure angle based on a graphical analysis method. Under certain conditions, the present method correlates with classical passive earth pressure theories. By comparing the present method with test results and previously published solutions, the results are found to be consistent. The influence of the seismic coefficients on seismic passive earth pressure is also studied.