Damage detection in concrete gravity dams using Hilbert-Huang Method, as one of the most common signal processing techniques, is studied in this research. After considering a typical geometry for dams, damage is modelled by a reduction in the modulus of elasticity in the dam’s body (in three levels of damage) and in different areas of the structure. The dam is excited by a horizontal earthquake and the primary natural frequencies of the dam are calculated by applying Hilbert-Huang Method to the measured response, which is the acceleration of five points in the system. Based on the changes in the frequencies of the damaged and undamaged structure, a parameter, called relative frequency error, has been introduced. The results show that the proposed criterion used in this study can not only properly identify the location of damage but also predict the severity of the structural damage in concrete gravity dams accurately.
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