In such earthquake prone countries as Japan, it is very important to understand the behavior of reinforced earth structures under seismic loading condition. Especially, the seismic stability of reinforced earth wall with concrete facing blocks should be investigated, as some failure examples of similar structures are available during earthquakes. In this paper, the authors present a pseudo-static model to evaluate the seismic response of reinforced earth wall with concrete facing blocks. The concrete blocks are modeled as elastic beams connected by non-linear rotational springs and the geogrid reinforcements as non-linear horizontal springs. The seismic lateral earth pressure is calculated considering the seismic coefficients and applied to the analytical model as a static load. The anchoring strength between concrete blocks and geogrid reinforcements is measured by pullout tests for prototype models. As the results of analysis for a typical case of the reinforced earth wall with concrete facing blocks, it was concluded that its stability during earthquakes mainly depended on the anchoring strength between concrete facing blocks and geogrid reinforcements. It was also concluded that the compressive strength of concrete blocks was sufficient against the stress concentration, at contacting area between neighboring blocks, due to their rotation.
The various kinds of Reinforced Earth Walls have been developed in the last decade. These structures can be classified according to the types of front wall structures and reinforcement materials in the soil. As for the front wall structures, concrete facing blocks, panels, steel plates and steel grids (Uchihata et al, 2000) are available. As for the reinforcement materials, steel strip plates, bars with anchor plates, grids and plastics (Hyodo et al, 1996) are applicable. The structural model of Reinforced Earth Wall in this paper is composed by concrete facing blocks as front wall and plastic geogrid for the reinforcements.