TU Delft
Year
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NEDERLANDSENGLISH
Organization
2016/2017 Civil Engineering and Geosciences Master Civiele Techniek
CIE4395
Risk and Variability in GeoEngineering
ECTS: 4
Responsible Instructor
Name E-mail
Prof.dr. M.A. Hicks    M.A.Hicks@tudelft.nl
Contact Hours / Week x/x/x/x
0/0/0/4
Education Period
4
Start Education
4
Exam Period
4
5
Course Language
English
Summary
Conventional geotechnical analysis follows a deterministic approach. This involves sub-dividing the problem domain into distinct material zones (or layers), and then assigning constant values to the material properties within in each zone. This leads to a single analysis and, in the case of stability assessments for example, to a single factor of safety.

This course takes account of the fact that, even in so-called uniform soil deposits or layers, there exists spatial variability of material properties (often referred to as heterogeneity). This spatial variability influences material behaviour, groundwater behaviour and the performance of geotechnical structures. It also means that we are never really sure what we have in the ground and so this leads to uncertainty in design.

The course considers the measurement, characterisation and numerical modelling of spatial variability, as well as methods for quantifying the effects of spatial variability and uncertainty on geotechnical performance. This involves stochastic analysis and leads to probabilistic definitions of response: in particular, reliability, which is the probability of failure not occurring. By linking probability of failure with consequence of failure, risk assessments may also be made.
Course Contents
Introduction to risk and variability.
Statistical characterisation of in situ data: cone penetration testing; frequency diagrams; probability density functions; point statistics; properties of the normal distribution; sources of error in evaluating site data; depth-dependency; stages in data interpretation; importance of spatial statistics; scale of fluctuation and its measurement; practical applications.
Modelling of spatial variability: local averaging theory; random fields; local average subdivision; univariate, multi-variate and reduced variate random fields; application to liquefaction potential.
Outline of the stochastic process: pre-analysis stage; analysis stage; mapping of random fields; Monte Carlo analysis; numerical modelling; post-analysis stage; reliability and probability of failure; performance probability density functions and performance cumulative distribution functions.
Influence of spatial variability on geo-structural performance: importance of scale of fluctuation; problem-dependency; comparing deterministic and stochastic approaches; range of solutions; sensitivity of solutions to input parameters; comparing 2D and 3D analyses; assessment of risk.
Implications for geotechnical design: Eurocode 7; characteristic values; partial factors.
Study Goals
After the course the student will be familiar with methodology for the measurement, characterisation and numerical modelling of spatial variability, as well as methods for quantifying the effects of spatial variability and uncertainty on geotechnical performance. The student will also be aware of the importance in considering spatial variability in geotechnical design and risk assessments.
Education Method
Lectures and assignments.
Literature and Study Materials
Accompanying notes and technical papers.
Assessment
Written 3 hour exam (75% of total mark) and coursework (25% of total mark).
Expected prior Knowledge
Background in soil mechanics.
Academic Skills
Soil mechanics and analytical skills.
Literature & Study Materials
Selection of papers, ppt presentations and notes given during lectures.
Judgement
One mark, based on written exam and coursework.
Permitted Materials during Exam
Standard calculator.
Collegerama
No