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Structural stability of gravity dams: a progressive assessment considering uncertainties in shear strength parameters

Mathilde Cordier and Pierre Léger

Article (2018)

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Cite this document: Cordier, M. & Léger, P. (2018). Structural stability of gravity dams: a progressive assessment considering uncertainties in shear strength parameters. Georisk: Assessment and Management of Risk for Engineered Systems and Geohazards, 12(2), p. 109-122. doi:10.1080/17499518.2017.1395464
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Abstract

Structural sliding stability of gravity dams is generally quantified using deterministic factor of safety, FSdet. Large FSdet (e.g. 3 in normal condition), are used in existing guidelines to guard against material and load uncertainties. Some guidelines allow an arbitrary reduction in FSdet (e.g. 2) when the knowledge in strength parameters increases from material test data. Yet, those reduced FSdet are not based on a rational consideration of uncertainties. Propagation of uncertainties could be done using probabilistic analyses, such as Monte-Carlo simulations (MC) which are complex and challenging for practical use. There is thus a need to develop simplified reliability based safety assessment procedures that could rationalise the adjustment of FSdet. This paper presents a progressive analysis methodology using four safety evaluation formats of increasing complexity: (i) deterministic, (ii) semi-probabilistic (partial coefficient), (iii) reliability based Adjustable Factor of Safety (AFS), and (iv) probabilistic. Comprehensive comparisons are made for the sliding safety evaluation of a 80 m gravity dam. Results are presented in terms of sliding factors of safety, allowable water levels, and demand/capacity ratios. It is shown that the AFS formulation, using direct integration, is simple and practical to use in complement to existing dam safety guidelines before undertaking MC simulations.

Uncontrolled Keywords

Dam safety; Uncertainty; Factor of safety; Reliability analysis; Monte Carlo simulation

Open Access document in PolyPublie
Subjects: 1100 Génie des structures > 1100 Génie des structures
Department: Département des génies civil, géologique et des mines
Research Center: Non applicable
Date Deposited: 04 May 2021 17:56
Last Modified: 05 May 2021 01:20
PolyPublie URL: https://publications.polymtl.ca/5615/
Document issued by the official publisher
Journal Title: Georisk: Assessment and Management of Risk for Engineered Systems and Geohazards (vol. 12, no. 2)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1080/17499518.2017.1395464

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