Value of information of combinations of proof loading and pore pressure monitoring for flood defences

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Spatial variability and limited measurements often result in low reliability estimates of geotechnical failure modes of dikes (i.e., earthen flood defences). Required dike reinforcements are usually not executed within a few years after inception, which enables efforts to improve reliability estimates by reducing uncertainty. Often decision makers are unclear on whether uncertainty reduction is worth investing, and which (combination of) methods yields the highest Value of Information (VoI). This paper presents a framework to assess the VoI of two uncertainty reduction methods (proof loading and pore pressure monitoring) for a case study of a typical river dike with an insufficiently stable inner slope, using a decision tree. In all cases, a positive VoI was found for at least one strategy consisting of a proof load test, monitoring or both. The optimal strategy of proof loading and monitoring has a VoI of 4.0 M€, being a reduction in total cost of 25% compared to a conventional dike reinforcement. It was also found that sometimes proof loading enhances the VoI of pore pressure monitoring, which demonstrates the benefits of jointly considering different methods in a single decision tree. The decision framework yields insight in total cost and VoI of risk reduction strategies, which enables decision makers to determine where proof loading and/or pore pressure monitoring are efficient, leading to more efficient flood defence asset management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalStructure and Infrastructure Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • Decision trees
  • pore pressure monitoring
  • proof loading
  • reliability
  • slope stability
  • Value of information


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