What are the typical loads on a restrained retaining wall?
Being the purpose of a retaining wall to maximize the land usage, normally there are surcharge loads on top of the retained mass. These loads may be dead or live, uniformly distributed or concentrated. Driveways, parking lots, equipment, etc, are examples of surcharges in a basement wall. A uniform surcharge will produce a uniform lateral pressure on the wall. A roadway running parallel to the wall may be modeled with a Strip load, and it may be calculated using the Boussinesq approach.
Sometimes the stem extends above the backfill level and this portion of the wall could be exposed to a wind pressure. If the wall is located in a seismic zone, then the seismic effects need to be considered. In this case the Mononobe-Okabe approach is usually followed, which is based on the Coulomb theory previously discussed. The picture below shows schematically the external loads in a typical restrained retaining wall.