Different numerical models have been proposed for seismic analysis of concrete dams by taking into account the nonlinear behavior of concrete and joints; interaction between the dam, foundation, and reservoir; and other seismic hazard considerations. Less focus, however, has been placed on the real seismic performance of the dams and their relative correlation. This paper investigates the linear and nonlinear seismic performance of two similar high arch dams with relatively different response mechanisms. The response correlation is performed from statistical and probabilistic points of view. Similarities and differences are highlighted, and the best practice to compare the responses in a class of dams is presented. It is found that some demand parameters and seismic intensity measures can reduce the dispersion of the results and increase the correlation. In general, the dam geometry has a direct relation with the deformation and spatial distribution of potential damaged area. However, it is not related to the localized damage at the most critical location. Moreover, the real crack pattern (from nonlinear analysis) is more discrete compared to the continuous overstressed/overstrained regions (from linear analysis).
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