Document Type

Journal Article


Indian Geotechnical Society/Springer


Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science


School of Engineering




This article was originally published as: Bathurst, R.J., & Zarnani, S. (2013). Earthquake load attenuation using EPS geofoam buffers in rigid wall applications. Indian Geotechnical Journal, 43(4), 283-391. The original publication is available at and can be accessed here


The paper is a synthesis of previously published work by the authors that is focused on the use of expanded polystyrene (EPS) geofoam buffers for seismic load attenuation against rigid basement and soil retaining walls. The paper begins with a brief description of the first documented field application followed by a description of physical 1 m-high reduced-scale shaking table tests that provided the first "proof of concept". Next, details of the development and verification of a displacement-based model and a FLAC numerical model are described and simulation results that were verified against the physical shaking table tests presented. The numerical results include simulations using simple linear elastic constitutive models for the EPS buffers and granular soil backfill and more complex non-linear hysteretic models. Finally, the verified FLAC model was used to develop a series of preliminary design charts for the selection of a suitable seismic buffer based on characteristics of the design earthquake accelerogram.