Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Architecture


Abraham Lynn


This thesis investigates the behavior of free-standing gabion walls in areas of mild seismicity. To investigate this behavior, three walls of varying internal cable patterns were constructed at a quarter-scale. These walls were tested with a mass shaker, and mode shapes, tone extractions, and damping ratios were calculated. A modal analysis was conducted using design spectra created from a suite of seven earthquakes from countries bordering Kenya. The corresponding lateral forces to these spectral displacements were found, and the restoring eccentricities from the soil restoring force were backed out through a summation of moments. All analysis was experimentally done due to the complexity of properly modeling the wall system for a secondary analytical comparison.

This process was done under the assumption of linear behavior. Similarly, the criteria for failure involved the eccentricity of the restoring soil force exceeding the kern distance (assuming elastic behavior)—criteria that all three of the wall specimens met. However, further research into the nonlinear behavior of this wall type is suggested for future conclusions on free-standing gabion wall behavior.