Probabilistic load determination

Han Vrijling, Th Mulder, J. Bruinsma

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeChapterScientific


This paper deals with a probabilistic approach of the hydraulic loading conditions of the Oosterschelde storm surge barrier. The joint probability density function of the hydraulic boundary conditions (storm surge level , wave energy and water level at the Oosterschelde basin) is used as input. By introducing linear spectral transfer functions between the load and the hydraulic parameters , this density function can be transformed into the two-dimensional probability density function of wave- and static loads from which the probability distribution of the total hydraulic load can be derived by integration.

The needed transfer functions were determined with the aid of a mathematical model, which has been checkedb y a series of hydraulic model tests. By applying a probabilistic load determination as indicated above, the total horizontal load at the storm surge barrier was reduced by approximately 40%, as compared to the rather pessimistic outcome of a deterministic load determination, in which all unfavourable and unlikely events are assumed to coincide. The probabilistic load determination has also been used in a probabilistic approach of the behaviour of the storm surge barrier, in which the structural properties were treated as random variables, in addition to the loads. In this way, a risk analysis has been executed to find the failure probabilities of several parts of the barrier, which have to be in balance.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHydraulic aspects of coastal structures
PublisherDelft University Press
ISBN (Print)90 6275 0540
Publication statusPublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes


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