American Society of Civil Engineers


Optimum Design for External Seismic Stability of Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil Walls: Reliability Based Approach


by B. Munwar Basha, (Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012, India. E-mail: mbasha@gmail.com) and G. L. Sivakumar Babu, (corresponding author), (Professor, Dept. of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore 560012, India E-mail: gls@civil.iisc.ernet.in)

Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, Vol. 136, No. 6, June 2010, pp. 797-812, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)GT.1943-5606.0000289)

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: In this paper, an analytical study considering the effect of uncertainties in the seismic analysis of geosynthetic-reinforced soil (GRS) walls is presented. Using limit equilibrium method and assuming sliding wedge failure mechanism, analysis is conducted to evaluate the external stability of GRS walls when subjected to earthquake loads. Target reliability based approach is used to estimate the probability of failure in three modes of failure, viz., sliding, bearing, and eccentricity failure. The properties of reinforced backfill, retained backfill, foundation soil, and geosynthetic reinforcement are treated as random variables. In addition, the uncertainties associated with horizontal seismic acceleration and surcharge load acting on the wall are considered. The optimum length of reinforcement needed to maintain the stability against three modes of failure by targeting various component and system reliability indices is obtained. Studies have also been made to study the influence of various parameters on the seismic stability in three failure modes. The results are compared with those given by first-order second moment method and Monte Carlo simulation methods. In the illustrative example, external stability of the two walls, Gould and Valencia walls, subjected to Northridge earthquake is reexamined.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Structural stability
Limit equilibrium
Seismic design
Geosynthetics
System reliability
Walls
Soil structures
Earthquakes

Author Keywords:
Stability
Limit equilibrium
Seismic design
Geosynthetics
Reliability
System reliability