On characteristic values for calculating factors of safety for dyke stability

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Various simplified approaches are used to calculate the characteristic values of shear strength properties, which have then been used in deterministic stability analyses of a dyke cross-section. The calculated factors of safety are compared with the 5-percentile ‘system response’ of the dyke cross-section, calculated using the more exhaustive random finite-element method (RFEM), which is consistent with the requirements of Eurocode 7. The simplified methods accounting for variance reduction due to averaging of property values mostly give factors of safety within 10% of the RFEM solution, whereas the factor of safety based on the 5-percentile material properties is significantly over-conservative.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)353-359
Number of pages7
JournalGeotechnique Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • numerical modelling
  • slopes
  • statistical analysis

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