Comparison of Different Standards Based on Computing the Probability of Failure of Flood Protection Dikes

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Flood damage poses a major threat to many countries across Europe. One of the most disadvantageous communities is Hungary, especially in view of the fact that 23% of the total area is situated on floodplain. 97% of this region is protected by flood control dikes and the remaining 3% is generally low-value zone. Through the decades different design methods referring to flood protection dikes have been recommended with newer and newer safety factors. In a few areas of geotechnical engineering – with the presence of Eurocode 7 – the reliability based design came to the front. The performance of a certain embankment cannot be compared by considering only the safety factors of the different theories but based on computing the probability of failure values it becomes possible. The article aims to show a method of how to define the input parameters and calculate the probability of failure of a flood protection dike. Hence the reliability of different standards can be compared.

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Seepage failure and slope instability in dike engineering are the most common dangerous cases which can easily lead to the break accident. The two dangerous cases have remarkable features such as complex causes, many influencing factors and strong uncertainty. The advantages in the safety factor method and the reliability analysis method are integrated. A dual criterion, which combines the certain index (safety factor) with the uncertain index (reliability), is proposed to evaluate the seepage and stability safety of dike engineering. The dynamic determination approach for the safety status of dike engineering and the corresponding dangerous water level threshold is developed. A representative section of one actual dike engineering is taken as an example. The seepage and stability safety of dike section is analyzed. The more comprehensive and objective evaluation results on service safety status and development trend are obtained. The determined threshold of dangerous water level, which can ensure the service safety of dike engineering, is very helpful to guide the scientific management of dike engineering.
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A new sampling method on the basis of a distance index and spherical subset simulation is proposed in this paper, with which the samples of uncertain variables are equally generated in the possible domain of uncertain variables and the failure probability is estimated using the concept of conditional probability. Coupling with this new sampling method, two practical procedures are developed for estimating the failure probability: one is a coarse procedure for the analysis of ordinary problems and the other is a refined procedure for the analysis of critical problems. The accuracy and efficiency of the proposed sampling method and procedures for estimating the failure probability are demonstrated through a series of examples. The results show that the proposed approach is valid for general applications and can yield an accurate estimate of the failure probability. The accuracy and efficiency are not influenced by the distribution type of uncertain variables, correlation among uncertain variables, nonlinearity of the performance function, and dimension of uncertain variables.
This paper presents a brief history of earth and rock-fill clams, including a discussion of the types of failure to which such clams have been subject. General features of projects are covered including outlet conduits, spillways, riprap, and the earth embankment itself. Since, in many instances, adequacy of the appurtenant works determines the safety and economy of a project, these features are discussed. Best current practice in design and construction is described with detailed reference to slope stability, slope protection, cutoff and core walls, earthquakes, costs, maintenance, and grouting. Predictions of future advances are set forth, and helpful design criteria are outlined. An extensive Bibliography adds materially to the over-all value.