This paper presents a case history for the construction of the Pappadai dam in Italy. The dam is constructed from rockfill, with an upstream bituminous membrane, and is built on stiff clay foundations. The instrumentation of the dam and of the foundation soil provides detailed insight into the deformation patterns and pore-water pressure changes during dam construction and for the subsequent 7 years. Two-dimensional plane-strain finite element analyses, using fairly simple constitutive models for soil and rockfill behaviour, were performed to reproduce the soil–structure interaction so that the effects of reservoir impoundment, which has yet to be carried out, could be investigated. The paper shows that a careful choice of parameters and an understanding of the mechanical behaviour of the in situ soils can result in satisfactory predictions of the overall soil–structure interaction.
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