Probability of Failure for Concrete Gravity Dams for Sliding Failure (Civil Project)

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Safety of dams can be evaluated based on the risk analysis methodologies that accounts for estimation of the risks associated to the dam-reservoir system. For this purpose it is important to estimate the probability of load events and probability of failure for several failure modes.

The following study emphasises on estimation of the probability of one specific failure mode, i.e. “sliding failure” for a concrete gravity dam.

The main idea behind this thesis was to analyse the estimation of the probability of sliding failure of an existing dam by obtaining the relationships among the different load events, factors of safety associated to those events and the probability of failure estimated using numerical simulation techniques together with different reliability methods.

The analysed dam is taken from theme C of the eleventh ICOLD Benchmark workshop on numerical analysis of dams. The thesis covers the methodology for estimating the probability of failure of a given concrete gravity dam with five water levels, considering the sliding failure mode along the dam-foundation interface along with the estimation of factors of safety for each water level and with two different drainage conditions. First order second moment Taylor’s

Series Approximation is being used as Level 2 reliability method and Monte Carlo simulation as Level 3 reliability method to estimate the probability of failure against sliding of the dam.

Conclusions are drawn in the end by comparing the results obtained from factor of safety estimation and probability of failure for each water level and drainage condition, followed by suggestions for further research in the context of sliding stability of concrete dams.
Source: KTH
Author: Iqbal, Ali

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