The application of the momentum balance method for the evaluation of the hydrodynamic pressures in a seismically excited rectangular tank is examined. The method was originally reported by Von Karman and has been recently rationalized by Housner. It uses two apparent masses derived according to the momentum balance in both the vertical and the horizontal directions. The application of the method in a seismic analysis of tanks has clarified a misinterpretation originally associated with the method. Both rigid and flexible tanks are treated, and the resulting hydrodynamic pressure distributions are compared with available solutions.

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