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Investigation of seismic performance of geotextile reinforced embankments by shake table tests and numerical modelling

Highways are one of the main lifelines that should be in continuous operation during and after natural disasters. Geosynthetic reinforcement can successfully mitigate the earthquake hazards on highway embankments. It is one of the most superior reinforcement techniques due to their unique characteristics. This study represents the numerical simulation of the shake table tests on the seismic behavior of the geotextile-reinforced embankment. Scaled shake table tests of unreinforced and geotextile reinforced highway embankment models, which had been modeled with respect to the prototype, have been subjected to a scaled real earthquake record in laboratory conditions. Dynamic performance analyses have been performed with the finite element modeling technique using the PLAXIS 2D software. Numerical results were compared with the experimental results prior to the evaluation of the results according to the selected performance criteria. Comparison of the shake table tests with the numerical studies has an important role on the estimation of the seismic behavior of the engineering structures. The aim of this paper is to verify the results obtained from numerical results to that of the results from shake table tests. The results of the verification study indicate that the numerical study reasonably represents the dynamic behavior of the geotextile reinforced embankment. Outcomes present remarkable conclusions about the effect of geosynthetic reinforcement and scaling effects. More importantly, it was determined that a numerical model could provide reasonable results based on the shake table tests.