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: In recent decades, there has been a remarkable increase application of probabilistic methods to more traditional areas of geotechnical engineering (i.e. random field theory). Random field is fully characterized by its mean and correlation or covariance function. Hence, it is very important carefully investigate the type of covariance function used to generate the random field specific to the task. In this research random finite element method will be used to quantify the reliability of shallow foundation settlement. Three types of covariance functions are used to generate the random field their effectiveness are assessed and analyzed on this specific problem. The covariance function type II seem more consistent to this task, due to it produce the lowest variance and the settlement distribution is reasonably fit the lognormal distribution. However, maybe another covariance function is probably more suitable for another problem. Therefore, it is necessary to check the effectiveness of covariance function in small scale before a move to a larger scale in every specific task.

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Ryan Kurnia

ABSTRACT: In recent decades, there has been a remarkable increase application of probabilistic methods to

more traditional areas of geotechnical engineering (i.e. random field theory). Random field is fully characterized by its mean and correlation or covariance function. Hence, it is very important carefully investigate the

type of covariance function used to generate the random field specific to the task. In this research random finite element method will be used to quantify the reliability of shallow foundation settlement. Three types of

covariance functions are used to generate the random field their effectiveness are assessed and analyzed on

this specific problem. The covariance function type II seem more consistent to this task, due to it produce the

lowest variance and the settlement distribution is reasonably fit the lognormal distribution. However, maybe

another covariance function is probably more suitable for another problem. Therefore, it is necessary to check

the effectiveness of covariance function in small scale before a move to a larger scale in every specific task.

1 INTRODUCTIONS

The safety factor is frequently used in conventional geotechnical practices when dealing with uncertainties. However, it is not very logical strategy

since the same safety factor is used for different type

of application without regard to the degree of uncertainty involved in the calculation. Meanwhile, the

probabilistic method allows the geotechnical engineer to evaluate the combining effect of uncertainties (Duncan 2000), in others word the degree of uncertainties are taken into account. Hence, using the

probabilistic method seems more logical. The good

and comprehensive example of the use of probability

in geotechnical engineering have been presented by

Christian et al. (Christian et al. 1994), Tang et al.

(Tang et al. 1999). Furthermore, Duncan (Duncan

2000) had presented the probability theory can be

applied in simple way without more additional data

and time.

One of a rigorous method to apply the probability

theory in geotechnical engineering can be achieved

by representing each point of the site using random

variable (i.e. Random processes or field) (Fenton &

Griffiths 2008) (Vanmarcke 2010). Numerous studies have been conducted in recent years to develop

the application of random field theory in the geotechnical engineering field. For example, reliability

analysis using random field theory combined with

al. 2002), using random finite element method

(RFEM) (Griffiths & Fenton 2004; Huang et al.

2010), and reliability analysis using RFEM combined with Monte-Carlo simulation and first-order

reliability method (FORM) analysis (Griffiths et al.

2009).

To characterize the random field we need to

know the field mean, field variance and how rapidly

the field varies in space (Assessment et al. 2008).

Covariance function is the convenient measure in

order to get some idea how the field varies in space.

Several covariance functions are available in literature i.e. triangular covariance function, polynomial

decaying covariance function, Markov covariance

function, and Gaussian covariance function. The

Markov and Gaussian covariance function are used

this study due to its simplicity and it only require the

scale of fluctuation or correlation length () and variance ( ) to compile the covariance structure of the

field. Random finite element method (RFEM) is

used extensively in this study. This method has been

successfully used by severer researcher (Huang et al.

2010; Vessia et al. 2009; Paiboon et al. 2013)

Random field is fully characterized by its mean and

covariance function (Santoso et al. 2011)

soil and rock are varied through space. Therefore,

careful assessment covariance function must be conducted in each specific geotechnical task. The purpose of this study is to assess several types of covariance function in reliability assessment of settlement

of single shallow foundation. The complete explanation of the covariance functions will be fully explained in the methodology section.

2 METHODOLOGY

the finite element properties, and choose the covariance function for simulation. Started with covariance

function type I. Then generate the random field realization up to 3000 realization. The realization then

mapped into finite element mesh, and finally the settlement of foundation can be evaluated. The simulations are conducted using the random finite element

method (RFEM) software. Which are the combination of random field theory, the classical finite element method, and Monte Carlo simulations developed by Fenton and Griffiths (Assessment et al.

2008). After all the process complete, then the same

process is conducted with covariance function type

II and III.

The model is illustrated in Fig. 2 to Fig.4 the soil

mass is discretized into 60 and 20 four node quadrilateral elements vertical and horizontal respectively.

The size of an element is 0.05 meters for vertical and

horizontal. Therefore, the real size of soil deposit is

3x1 meters. 60 x 20 discretization was considered

adequate by the previous researcher (Fenton &

Griffiths 2002). The foundation is assumed to be rigid, possess the rough interface with underlying soil

and do not undergo any rotation. As a consequence,

the finite element model is constrained against horizontal movement but not vertically. The nodes in the

bottom boundary are fixed. A fixed load P=1 N/m is

applied to the footing, 1 m also for footing width.

Because of a linear function of load, the results are

easily scaled to different values of P and footing

width.

The settlement is predicted using elastic theory.

Therefore, the elastic modulus (E) and the Poisson

ratio (v) are used in this study. Only elastic modulus

is considered random and assumed to follow the

lognormal distribution with mean 1 and standard deviation 0.3. The lognormal distribution is chosen due

to the elastic modulus value is strictly nonnegative

and it properties still possesses a simple relationship

fixed with 0.25 for the entire soil mass in the simulations. The random field is anisotropy with correlation length () 2 meters in the horizontal direction by

1 meter in the vertical direction.

The covariance functions used in this study are

Markovian covariance function and Gaussian covariance function. For Markovian covariance function

there are two ways to determine the covariance between two points; based on absolute distance, later it

called covariance function type I and according to

the product of the 2 directional 1-D Markovian covariance functions, later it called covariance function

type II. For the Gaussian counterpart which later

called covariance function type III. Thus, there is

three type of covariance functions are considered in

this study.

For calculation of covariance structure for type I

can be calculated using Equation.1. for covariance

function type II can be calculated using Equation.2,

and for covariance function type III can be calculated using Equation.3.

( , )=

( , )=

( , )=

(1)

+

| |

| |

(2)

(3)

= Horizontal distance between two points (m);

= Vertical distance between two points (m);

=

Horizontal correlation distance (m);

=

vertical

correlation distance (m)

3 RESULT AND DISCUSSIONS

Figure 2 to Figure 3 shows one of a possible realization of the elastic modulus field along with the

mesh for covariance function type I, type II, and

type III respectively. A gray-scale represents the

value of elastic modulus. Lighter areas denote

smaller values of E. While the mesh representing the

deformation. Although, this is just one possible realization the next realization could be different, or

even opposite. The elastic modulus fields, as we can

see in Fig. 2 to Fig 4 indicate that the change of elastic modulus seems smoother for Gaussian covariance function compared to its counterpart the Markovian covariance functions.

almost zero. Interestingly, the covariance functions

type II is the most fitted to the lognormal distribution, with p-value 0.524573, the highest one.

Type I

Type II

Probability

0.09

0.08

0.07

0.06

0.05

0.04

0.03

0.02

0.01

0

Type III

Settlement

In Fig.1, three typical histograms of the settlement under the foundation are generated using three

different covariance functions. The histograms are

normalized. The settlement distributions are predicted using 3000 realizations. The shape of all three

histogram appears to resemble the lognormal distribution. However, when chi-square the goddess of fit

is used to evaluate the goodness of the fit the data to

a lognormal distribution, the hypothesis are then are

accepted for Markovian covariance functions and

rejected for Gaussian covariance function with the

P-value just around 8.04E-12 (see Table 1). It is very

small since large p-values up to 1.0 support the

lognormal hypothesis. However, the chi-square test

is quite sensitive to the smoothness of histogram,

particularly when the number of samples is large.

Since the histogram for settlement distribution that

generated from Gaussian covariance function is

strongly resembles the lognormal distribution, the

rejection may come from the roughness of the histogram. Fenton and Griffiths (Fenton & Griffiths

2002) suggested that still reasonable to assume that

the distribution fit the lognormal distribution.

recommended to generate the random field for this

problem. The previous research (Cheon & Gilbert

2014) has also chosen this type of covariance function to model the spatial variability in the Gulf of

Mexico.

Table 1. Summary of simulation result

Mean

Covariance Function

Type I

1.29

0.28

Accepted

Type III

1.30

0.32

Rejected

No

2

The means resulted from three covariance function appears to be consistent, only slightly different

as we can see in Table 1, However, Markovian covariance function (type II). That is, the covariance

between points in the field decays according to the

product of the 2 directional 1-D Markovian covariance functions produced the lowest variance. In term

of the goodness of the fit of the simulation result to

the lognormal distribution, the Markovian are ac-

Type II

1.28

4 CONCLUSSIONS

0.26

Chi-square test

Hypothesis

Accepted

P-value

0.19197

0.52457

8.04E12

The quantification of the uncertainties in the geotechnical field can be achieved through the random

field theory. Because of the role of covariance function is significant to random field analysis, the careful analysis is needed to guide the engineer choose

the suitable covariance for the specific task. As a result, the type II covariance function is more suitable

for this type of problem and the problem similar to

this problem. However, the analysis in this research

only uses the small scale. In addition, it only uses

cannot be incorporated. Using the larger scale analysis with multiple footing is needed to verify the consistency of the result.

5 REFERENCES

Geotechnical Engineering,

Cheon, J.Y. & Gilbert, R.B., 2014. Modeling spatial

variability in offshore geotechnical properties

for reliability-based foundation design.

Structural Safety, 49, pp.1826.

Cho, S.E., 2007. Effects of spatial variability of soil

properties on slope stability. Engineering

Geology, 92(3), pp.97109.

Christian, J.T., Ladd, C.C. & Baecher, G.B., 1994.

Reliability applied to slope stability analysis.

Journal of Geotechnical Engineering, 120(12),

pp.21802207.

Duncan, J.M., 2000. Factors of safety and reliability

in geotechnical engineering. Journal of

geotechnical

and

geoenvironmental

engineering, 126(4), pp.307316.

El-Ramly, H., Morgenstern, N.R. & Cruden, D.M.,

2002. Probabilistic slope stability analysis for

practice. Canadian Geotechnical Journal,

39(3), pp.665683.

Fenton, G.A. & Griffiths, D. V, 2002. Probabilistic

foundation settlement on spatially random soil.

Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental

Engineering, 128(5), pp.381390.

Fenton, G.A. & Griffiths, D.V., 2008. Risk

assessment in geotechnical engineering, John

Wiley & Sons Incorporated.

Griffiths, D. V & Fenton, G.A., 2004. Probabilistic

slope stability analysis by finite elements.

Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental

Engineering, 130(5), pp.507518.

Griffiths, D. V, Huang, J. & Fenton, G.A., 2009.

Influence of spatial variability on slope

reliability using 2-D random fields. Journal of

Geotechnical

and

Geoenvironmental

Engineering, 135(10), pp.13671378.

Huang, J., Griffiths, D. V & Fenton, G.A., 2010.

System reliability of slopes by RFEM. Soils

and Foundations, 50(3), pp.343353.

Paiboon, J. et al., 2013. International Journal of

Solids and Structures Numerical analysis of

effective elastic properties of geomaterials

containing voids using 3D random fields and

finite elements. International Journal of Solids

and Structures, 50(20-21), pp.32333241.

Available

at:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijsolstr.2013.05.031.

Santoso, A.M., Phoon, K. & Quek, S., 2011. Effects

of soil spatial variability on rainfall-induced

landslides. Computers and Structures, 89(1112),

pp.893900.

Available

at:

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compstruc.2011.02.0

16.

Reliability in back analysis of slope failures.

Soil and foundations, 39(5), pp.7380.

Vanmarcke, E., 2010. Random fields: analysis and

synthesis, World Scientific.

Vessia, G. et al., 2009. Application of random finite

element method to bearing capacity design of

strip footing. Journal of GeoEngineering, 4(3),

pp.103112.

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