To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Stochastic finite element analysis of rockfill dam considering spatial variability of dam material porosity

Hui Chen (State Key Lab of Hydraulic Engineering Simulation and Safety, Tianjin University, Tianjin, China)
Donghai Liu (State Key Lab of Hydraulic Engineering Simulation and Safety, Tianjin University, Tianjin, China)

Engineering Computations

ISSN: 0264-4401

Article publication date: 9 October 2019

Issue publication date: 19 November 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to develop a stochastic finite element method (FEM) to solve the calculation precision deficiency caused by spatial variability of dam compaction quality.

Design/methodology/approach

The Choleski decomposition method was applied to generate constraint random field of porosity. Large-scale laboratory triaxial tests were conducted to determine the quantitative relationship between the dam compaction quality and Duncan–Chang constitutive model parameters. Based on this developed relationship, the constraint random fields of the mechanical parameters were generated. The stochastic FEM could be conducted.

Findings

When the fully random field was simulated without the restriction effect of experimental data on test pits, the spatial variabilities of both displacement and stress results were all overestimated; however, when the stochastic FEM was performed disregarding the correlation between mechanical parameters, the variabilities of vertical displacement and stress results were underestimated and variation pattern for horizontal displacement also changed. In addition, the method could produce results that are closer to the actual situation.

Practical implications

Although only concrete-faced rockfill dam was tested in the numerical examples, the proposed method is applicable for arbitrary types of rockfill dams.

Originality/value

The value of this study is that the proposed method allowed for the spatial variability of constitutive model parameters and that the applicability was confirmed by the actual project.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This research was supported by the Foundation for Innovative Research Groups of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Number 51621092), National Key Research and Development Program of China (Number 2017YFC0405100) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Number 51479132 and Number 51679164).

Citation

Chen, H. and Liu, D. (2019), "Stochastic finite element analysis of rockfill dam considering spatial variability of dam material porosity", Engineering Computations, Vol. 36 No. 9, pp. 2929-2959. https://doi.org/10.1108/EC-06-2018-0266

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited