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DOI 10.1007/s10706-011-9442-9

ORIGINAL PAPER

on Layered Soil Media

Priti Maheshwari • P. Pradeep Kumar

Received: 14 May 2010 / Accepted: 23 August 2011 / Published online: 4 September 2011

Ó Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

footing resting on a layered soil system has been

carried out considering the elastic moduli of soil There are various factors that cause natural soil to be

layers as random variables. Three layers of soil have non-homogeneous like, removal of overburden,

been considered and the analysis employs Monte chemical bonding, change of static ground water

Carlo simulation. The modulus of elasticity has been level etc. Therefore, it is of interest to be able to

considered as random variable having lognormal predict the behavior of structures built on it. To

distribution. Factors of safety with respect to settle- predict the response of soil–foundation system, the

ment of footing and the interfacial stresses have been value of soil parameters is adopted from the results of

determined and have been related to the associated multiple tests conducted for this purpose. The data

risk factor and coefficient of variation of the random from these tests suggest that there is a fair amount of

variable. A detailed parametric study revealed that for variability which is indicative of the fact that the soil

a given risk level, the factors of safety is strongly parameters are random rather than deterministic in

dependent on the coefficient of variation of elastic nature. However, the design engineers usually tend to

modulus and only mildly upon other parameters of resolve this dilemma by adopting an arithmetic mean

the soil–foundation system. This facilitated the of various estimates in subsequent modeling of the

development of closed form equations for the upper state variables viz. settlement, stresses etc. The

bounds on factors of safety only in terms of allowable possible variability of the parameter around its mean

risk of failure and the coefficient of variation of is rather indirectly accounted for by assigning factors

elastic modulus. of safety to the concerned state variables. However,

these are chosen arbitrarily or intuitively rather than

Keywords Strip footing Probabilistic process deriving them from the variation of the parameter

Monte Carlo simulation Risk of failure visible in the outcome of the multiple tests. There-

Factor of safety Coefficient of variation fore, it becomes essential to carry out probabilistic

analysis of soil–foundation system rather that a

deterministic analysis.

Some of the soil parameters, usually invoked in the

modeling of soil–foundation system include elastic

P. Maheshwari (&) P. P. Kumar

modulus, modulus of subgrade reaction, hydraulic

Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute

of Technology Roorkee, Roorkee 247 667, India conductivity etc. These are the outcome of a variety

e-mail: priti_mahesh2001@yahoo.com of geological processes and may vary randomly over

123

1100 Geotech Geol Eng (2011) 29:1099–1108

the space. Due to the limitations of sampling, the As mentioned above, although many studies have

spatial distribution remains largely unknown. Conse- been undertaken for understanding the stochastic

quently these parameters may be viewed as a nature of soil parameters, however, the foundation

stochastic process characterized by certain mean, designs remain largely deterministic. The possible

variance and an auto-correlation function [c(r)], variability of the parameters around their mean is

describing variation of its autocorrelation with dis- rather indirectly accounted for by assigning factors of

tance—all derived from the limited sampling. safety to the concerned state variables. However,

Another important derived parameter of a random values of these factors of safety are chosen arbitrarily

process is the autocorrelation distance (R) defined as: or intuitively rather than deriving them from the

R1

R ¼ 0 cðrÞdr: With the autocorrelation practically variation of the parameters visible in the outcome of

vanishing at and beyond R, the persistence of soil the multiple tests. The present study is aimed at

parameters in space is thus quantified by R and c(r). developing the closed form equations for the factors of

In case R is known to be small, c(r) is modeled as 1-D safety to be used in the analysis and design of strip

Markov model wherein the autocorrelation decays footings on basis of the uncertainty in the elastic

exponentially. In case of long autocorrelation dis- modulus of soil. The state variables considered are

tances, one may adopt a Fractal model wherein the maximum settlement and the vertical stresses below

spatially persistent stochastic process is viewed as the centre of a strip footing. The equations for factors

comprising of multiple low frequency waves (har- of safety are derived by conducting Monte Carlo

monics) with random amplitudes (Fenton 1999). The simulations on a deterministic elastic model. Various

distribution of the power among harmonics is research workers have proposed different models for

described by a spectral density function. A stochastic the analysis of foundations resting on layered soil

process may be studied in two distinct ways viz. media employing different numerical as well as

analytical or numerical. Baker et al. (1989), Baker analytical methods. In the present work, a determin-

and Zeitoun (1990), Mahmoud and El Tawil (1992) istic model as proposed by Maheshwari and Madhav

etc. employed various analytical methods for model- (2006) has been adopted for the probabilistic analysis

ing a stochastic process with respect to soil param- of strip footings.

eters. Paice et al. (1996) studied the effect of random

and spatially correlated soil stiffness on the total

settlement under the centre of a uniformly loaded 2 Monte Carlo Simulation

flexible-strip footing by means of a combination of

random field theory and finite element method. Monte-Carlo simulation is a numerical study wherein

Fenton and Griffiths (2002) analyzed isolated multiple realizations of the random variables forming

footings on random soil media using finite element the stochastic process are generated. The realizations

method. Guo and Weitsman (2002) presented an are made to honor the known mean, variance and the

analytical method accompanied by a numerical autocorrelation function of the random process.

scheme, to evaluate the response of beams on non Subsequently the corresponding realizations of the

uniform elastic solution. Spatial variation of modulus relevant state variables are generated by invoking

of subgrade reaction was considered in the analysis. deterministic models. An analysis of the generated

Fenton and Griffiths (2005) modeled the soil as a 3-D realizations provides the probability density/distribu-

spatially random medium, and estimated the reliabil- tion functions of the state variables. On account of the

ity of shallow foundations against serviceability limit spatial correlation, the realizations are dependent

state failure, in the form of excessive settlement and/ upon the spatial coordinates (say X) and the realiza-

or differential settlement. The soil’s elastic modulus, tion number (x). Smith and Freeze (1979) invoked

E, was represented as a lognormally distributed the nearest-neighbor model to generate realizations of

random field with an isotropic correlation structure. logarithm of hydraulic conductivity. Baker (1984)

Many of the studies employ Monte–Carlo simulation presented the same model as a second order two-

method as the numerical approach for studying a parameter stochastic differential equation whose

stochastic process. numerical solution provides realizations of modulus

123

Geotech Geol Eng (2011) 29:1099–1108 1101

of subgrade reaction. The parameters of the equation generate realizations of the relevant state variables. In

as well as the nodal spacing were related to the the present work, a deterministic model (Maheshwari

autocorrelation distance (R). Righetti and Williams and Madhav 2006, Maheshwari and Viladkar 2007)

(1988) incorporated the essentials of Monte-Carlo of the soil–footing system (Fig. 1) has been adopted

simulation in finite element based modeling of to compute the state variables viz. settlement and the

displacement and stress, treating the elastic modulus vertical stresses at soil interfaces at the mid-section of

as a stochastic process. the strip footing. A brief description of the model has

It follows from the preceding discussion that on been given below:

account of the spatial autocorrelation, the realizations The soil media has been assumed to consist of

of elastic modulus would be spatially varying [i.e., three soil layers having thicknesses, H1, H2 and H3,

E = E(X, x)] even if elastic modulus is presumed to respectively. These layers have been founded on a

be a stationary process having a uniform mean value rigid base and the elastic modulus and Poisson’s ratio

over the entire spatial domain. As such a distributed of these layers have been denoted as (E1, m1), (E2, m2)

parameter model would be required for computing and (E3, m3), respectively. The footing is acted upon

the state variables corresponding to the generated by a load intensity, q over a width, 2B at the ground

realizations. However, if the autocorrelation distance level, i.e., at the top of soil layer—I. The magnitude

is long enough, elastic modulus may be treated as of load has been assumed to be such that the soil

space-invariant random variable (Baker et al. 1989) layers remain in elastic state to ensure the applica-

whose realizations are dependent upon the realization bility of the theory of elasticity. Further, the soil

number (x) only [i.e., E = E (x)] and are indepen- layers have been assumed as cohesionless, where the

dent of the location. The state variables in this case settlement is only immediate and elastic under

can be computed by invoking any deterministic working loads. To make the analysis simple, Pois-

model representing the soil–foundation system as son’s ratio has been considered to be the same for all

mentioned in previous section. The assumption of the the three soil layers, i.e., m1 = m2 = m3 = 0.3 and

autocorrelation distance being large enough may in constant, for all the cases analyzed. Due to symmetry

fact generally hold for the reason as visualized by of the geometry, only half of the soil media

Fenton (1999) the natural processes contributing (x C B) has been analyzed (Fig. 2).

towards soil properties may be quite extensive For a plane strain situation involving a strip load,

regionally. the governing differential equation in terms of the

stress function, u (Timoshenko and Goodier 1951;

Ragab and Bayoumi 1998) can be written as:

3 Stochastic Design of a Strip Footing

of a strip footing resting on three layered soil media

subjected to uniform loading. The elastic moduli of

soil layers have been considered to be stochastic

processes with a large autocorrelation distance. The

factors of safety in respect of settlement and vertical

stresses at soil interfaces at the centre of strip footing

have been related to the risk level and the coefficient

of variation (COV) of the random variables.

deterministic model of the system under consider-

ation. The chosen model is repeatedly invoked to Fig. 1 Definition sketch of three layer soil system

123

1102 Geotech Geol Eng (2011) 29:1099–1108

9

G o ou ow >

Gr2 u þ þ ¼ 0>

>

=

ð1 2mÞ ox ox oz

ð5Þ

G o ou ow >

Gr2 w þ þ ¼ 0>

>

;

ð1 2mÞ oz ox oz

The stresses can be expressed in terms of dis-

placements as:

9

E ou ow >

rx ¼ ð 1 mÞ þ m >

>

ð1 þ mÞð1 2mÞ ox oz >

>

>

>

E ou ow =

rz ¼ m þ ð 1 mÞ ð6Þ

ð1 þ mÞð1 2mÞ ox oz >

>

>

>

ow ou >

>

sxz ¼ G þ >

;

ox oz

where E and t are the elastic modulus and Poisson’s

ratio, respectively. rx and rz are, respectively the

Fig. 2 Typical discretization of soil with boundary and normal stresses in x and z directions and sxz is the

continuity conditions shear stress. ex and ez are the normal strains in x and

z directions, respectively while cxz is the shear strain,

o2 o2 o2 u o2 u G represents the shear modulus and u and w are the

þ þ 2 ¼0 ð1Þ independent displacements in x and z directions,

ox2 oz2 ox2 oz

respectively.

where u is the stress function and x and z are co-

ordinates of any point as shown in Fig. 1.

It is difficult to solve (1) in terms of stress 3.2 Boundary and Continuity Conditions

function, u. Therefore, a simpler formulation in terms

of displacements has been adopted. The equilibrium A uniform load intensity, q, has been applied over a

equations, width, 2B of a smooth strip footing. The boundary

9 and the continuity conditions are given as follows

orx oszx >

þ ¼ 0>= (Fig. 2):

ox oz

ð2Þ

osxz orz >

þ ¼ 0>; rz ¼ q for x B; z ¼ 0 ð7Þ

ox oz

rz ¼ 0 for x [ B; z ¼ 0 ð8Þ

are coupled with stress–strain relationships for plane

strain condition, sxz ¼ 0 for all x; z ¼ 0 ð9Þ

ex ¼ rx t r y þ r z > >

> three different finite soil layers lying on a rigid base.

E >

>

=

1

ð3Þ

ez ¼ rz t r x þ r y > u¼w¼0 for all x; z ¼ H ð10Þ

E >

>

sxz >

> As the soil media has an infinite extent in

cxz ¼ ;

G x direction, all the stresses and displacements become

and strain–displacement equations, zero for x tending to ?. For the cases analyzed in the

present study, this condition has been satisfied at

ou ow ou ow x = 8B.

ex ¼ ; ez ¼ ;c ¼ þ ð4Þ

ox oz xz oz ox The continuity of vertical as well as the shear

to obtain the governing equations (Ragab and stresses has been satisfied at the interfaces of soil

Bayoumi 1998) as: layers, i.e.,

123

Geotech Geol Eng (2011) 29:1099–1108 1103

rð1;2Þ ¼ rð2;1Þ and sð1;2Þ ¼ sð2;1Þ at z ¼ H1 ð11Þ layers to be same (m) and dx = dz, for a typical node

z z xz xz

(i, j) in x–z plane, the governing differential equations

rð2;3Þ

z ¼ rð3;2Þ

z and sð2;3Þ

xz ¼ sð3;2Þ

xz at z ¼ H1 þ H2 (5) can be written in finite difference form as:

ð12Þ 1m 1 2m 9

ui;j ¼ ui1;j þ uiþ1;j þ ui;j1 þ ui;jþ1 >

>

3 4m 2ð3 4mÞ >

>

>

>

where rð1;2Þ

z ; rð2;1Þ

z are the normal stresses and 1 >

>

>

ð1;2Þ ð2;1Þ þ wiþ1;jþ1 wiþ1;j1 wi1;jþ1 þ wi1;j1 > >

=

sxz ; sxz are the shear stresses at the interface 8ð3 4mÞ

between layers I and II, while rð2;3Þ ; rð3;2Þ 1m 1 2m >

z z are the wi;j ¼ wi;j1 þ wi;jþ1 þ wi1;j þ wiþ1;j > >

>

3 4m 2ð3 4mÞ >

>

ð2;3Þ ð3;2Þ

normal stresses and sxz ; sxz are the shear stresses >

>

1 >

>

at the interface between layers II and III. þ uiþ1;jþ1 uiþ1;j1 ui1;jþ1 þ ui1;j1 > ;

8ð3 4mÞ

As governing differential equations (6) have been ð19Þ

expressed in terms of vertical and horizontal dis-

placements, above stated boundary and the continuity The boundary and continuity conditions have also

conditions (7)–(9) have also been expressed in terms been written in finite different form and solved along

of displacements. with the above equation using Gauss–Siedel iterative

Displacement boundary conditions have been method.

satisfied by imposing horizontal displacement, Thus, the equation system can be represented in

the following form:

u ¼ 0 for x B; z ¼ 0 and ð13Þ

w; r ¼ UðE1 ; E2 =E1 ; E3 =E2 ; H1 =H; H2 =H; q; B; mÞ

u; w ¼ 0 for all x; z ¼ H: ð14Þ ð20Þ

At the interface where z = H1, the continuity Various terms appearing in the above equation can

conditions can be expressed in terms of displace- be classified as follows: E1, E2/E1, E3/E2, H1/H, H2/

ments as: H, q, B and m are the model parameters; w and r are

state variables; and U is the model as proposed by

E1 ow ou

ð1 m1 Þ þ m1 Maheshwari and Madhav (2006).

ð1 þ m1 Þð1 2m1 Þ oz ox

E2 ow ou

¼ ð1 m2 Þ þ m2 ð15Þ

ð1 þ m2 Þð1 2m2 Þ oz ox

3.3 Linking Factors of Safety to Risk

and

Invoking the above model for the analysis of strip

ow ou ow ou

G1 þ ¼ G2 þ ð16Þ footings on layered soil media, one can design the

ox oz ox oz

system restricting a state variable W (=w or r) to a

Similarly at the interface where z = H1 ? H2, prescribed upper limit Wm. Parameters (Ei, i = 1, 2,

3) are random variables with mean (lEi) and a

E2 ow ou

ð1 m2 Þ þ m2 coefficient of variation (COV). This problem can be

ð1 þ m2 Þð1 2m2 Þ oz ox

E3 ow ou addressed in a deterministic or stochastic mode.

¼ ð1 m3 Þ þ m3 ð17Þ In the deterministic approach, W is computed

ð1 þ m3 Þð1 2m3 Þ oz ox

through the model assigning the mean values (lEi) to

and the corresponding stochastic parameters (Ei). Then

recognizing the inherent uncertainty in the parame-

ow ou ow ou

G2 þ ¼ G3 þ ð18Þ ters, Ei and hence in computed state variable, W, the

ox oz ox oz

upper limit on W is attenuated through an arbitrarily

A finite difference scheme has been adopted for assigned factor of safety (FOS). The system is

solution of above equation system. The soil media designed assigning an upper limit on Wu that is

has been discretized in a manner shown in Fig. 2 with lower than Wm through a factor, FOS (i.e., Wu = Wm/

an interval of dx in x direction and dz in z direction. FOS). The main problem with this approach is that

Assuming the Poisson’s ratio for all the three soil the prescribed FOS is rather arbitrary.

123

1104 Geotech Geol Eng (2011) 29:1099–1108

In the stochastic approach, the parameters Ei and (though skewed) ensures non-negativity. As such, the

hence the state variable W are treated as random parameters, Ei (i = 1, 2, 3) is assumed to follow the

variables. W can be characterized by a cumulative log-normal distribution. This implies that ln Ei (say

probability distribution function (cdf) or by its mean Pi) follows a normal distribution with the following

and variance. Both may be derived from the known mean and standard deviation.

stochastic structure of random variables (Ei). Monte 0 1

,sﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

2

Carlo simulation has to be resorted to for generating r Ei

the cdf. Therefore, the deterministic design criterion lPi ¼ ln@lEi þ1A ð24Þ

lEi

(restricting W to Wu) can be stated in a stochastic

vﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃﬃ

ﬃ

mode as follows: u

u 2 !

r

rPi ¼ tln

Ei

EðW Þ ¼ Wu þ1 ð25Þ

lEi

The risk of failure (i.e., W exceeding Wm) in the

deterministic design can be expressed as follows. In the present study, realizations of Pi are gener-

ated by applying the central limit theorem to random

e ¼ PðW [ Wm Þ numbers (uniformly distributed in the range 0–1).

or The application essentially involves summing up ‘n’

random numbers that as per the theorem provides a

e ¼ 1 FW ðFOS lW Þ ð21Þ realization of a normally distributed random variable

where, e = risk of failure (termed henceforth as risk) (say Si) with mean as ‘n/2’ and variance as ‘n/12’. In

associated with the deterministic design characterized the present application, ‘n’ is taken as 40.

by FOS, and FW = the cumulative probability distri- These realizations are then transformed to the

bution function of W. realizations of Pi (ln Ei) as follows.

Thus, the necessary FOS for an assigned risk level

Si n

can be computed as follows. Pi ¼ pﬃﬃﬃnﬃ2 rPi þ lPi ð26Þ

12

FOS ¼ l1 1

W FW ð1 eÞ ð22Þ

Subsequently realizations of Ei are generated by

Recalling that the cdf is a non-diminishing exponentiating the realizations of ln Ei (i.e., Pi).

function varying from zero at minus infinity to These realizations along with the stipulated values of

one at plus infinity, it can be seen that a lower H1/H, H2/H, q, B, t (20) are fed to the chosen

prescribed risk level shall always lead to a higher deterministic elastic model of settlement and the

factor of safety. In the limiting case of zero risk, vertical stresses (Maheshwari and Madhav 2006;

the required FOS is infinity. This implies that by Maheshwari and Viladkar 2007) as described earlier

suitably increasing the FOS, the risk can be to compute the realizations of W (=w or r). These

reduced to any level above zero. Similarly the realizations are invoked to construct the cdf (FW) of

necessary FOS for implementing a 50% risk in the W which provides arrays of e and the corresponding

design is one. As the FOS increases beyond one, FOS as per (21) or (22). These arrays are regressed to

the risk decreases. Maheshwari and Kashyap (2008, estimate the parameters, a and b of (23). The number

2009) presented the following approximate func- of Monte Carlo simulations adopted in the present

tional relation, honoring the requirements stated study is 101.

earlier. In the present work, only the uncertainty due to

inherent variability in the soil properties has been

FOS aeb ð23Þ

considered. The used deterministic model simulates

where, a and b are the fitting parameters to be the cohesionless soil layers in which the settlement is

estimated by regression of e versus FOS arrays. These immediate and elastic under working loads. However,

arrays are generated in accordance with Eqs. 21 (or in the practical situation, the soil layers may not be

22). The soil parameters are mostly considered to perfectly cohesionless and this will also introduce

follow log-normal distribution (25–28). The distribu- some uncertainty which has not been considered in

tion apart from permitting a spread around the mean the present study.

123

Geotech Geol Eng (2011) 29:1099–1108 1105

H = 0.05 - 0.3

The proposed method has been initially validated for Applied load intensity, q = 0.15, 0.3 MN/m

a deterministic homogeneous finite layer, in which

Typically, width of loaded region (B) and depth of

case the moduli and Poisson’s ratio of the three layers

soil strata (H) has been kept constant for all the

are equal (E1 = E2 = E3 = 10 MPa and t1 = t2 =

studies as 1 and 16 m, respectively.

t3 = 0.3), by comparing the results with those given

Typical results from a detail parametric study have

by Poulos and Davis (Poulos and Davis 1974). The

been presented in Fig. 3 comprising the generated

difference in values of displacements obtained by the

discrete FOS in respect of settlement versus the risk

present method at ground level (35.53 mm) and that

points for the extreme values of [l (E1), l (E2/E1), l

by Poulos and Davis (1974) (30.78 mm) is around

(E3/E2), H1/H, H2/H, q] for a typical COV = 15%. It

12–14%. This may be because Poulos and Davis

is evident from the figure that the parameters [lE1, l

method uses an approximate method i.e., Steinbren-

(E2/E1), l (E3/E3), H1/H, H2/H, q] do not affect the

ner’s approximation.

FOS significantly. Similar kind of observation has

The parameters (a and b) of the factor of safety

been made for the FOS in respect of vertical stresses

versus risk relation (23) are dependent upon the mean

at soil interfaces. However, as COV has been

and COV of the random variables, E1, E2 and E3 and

changed, the significant change in FOS versus

also upon the variables: H1/H, H2/H, q. Numerical

probability of failure relation has been observed.

experiments have been conducted to estimate the

From these results, it has been evident that while FOS

parameters (a and b) for the following ranges of

is sensitive enough to COV, other parameters [l (E1),

variation of the contributing variables:

l (E2/E1), l (E3/E2), H1/H, H2/H, q] do not affect the

Mean of Elastic modulus of upper soil layer, FOS significantly. Keeping this in view, an upper

lE1 = 30 - 120 MPa envelope, representing the upper bound on the FOS

Mean of modular ratio, l (E2/E1) = 0.5 - 2.0 has been fitted on to all these data (Fig. 3). Similar

Mean of modular ratio, l (E3/E2) = 0.25 - 2.0 trends have been observed at all assigned values of

COV of elastic moduli of soil layers (%) = 1 - 25 COV (varying from 1 to 25%) leading to similar

Relative thickness of top soil layer, H1/ action, i.e., fitting upper envelops. Since these

H = 0.05 - 0.3 envelops represent the variation of the upper bound

(settlement) versus

probability of failure

123

1106 Geotech Geol Eng (2011) 29:1099–1108

Fig. 4 Fitting parameter a (settlement) versus COV Fig. 7 Fitting parameter b (vertical stress at top interface)

versus COV

Fig. 5 Fitting parameter b (settlement) versus COV Fig. 8 Fitting parameter a (vertical stress at bottom interface)

versus COV

Fig. 6 Fitting parameter a (vertical stress at top interface) Fig. 9 Fitting parameter b (vertical stress at bottom interface)

versus COV versus COV

on FOS with the risk, (23) has been fitted on to them. ([0.9). The estimated parameters (a and b) at various

The fits have been generally found to be well charac- levels of the COV for the three state variables

terized with high enough correlation coefficients (settlement and vertical stresses at soil interfaces) have

123

Geotech Geol Eng (2011) 29:1099–1108 1107

been shown graphically in Figs. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9. Table 3 Factors of safety (vertical stress at bottom interface)

Recognizing quite pronounced linear trends, a and corresponding to coefficient of variation and associated risk

factor or probability of failure

b are expressed as linear functions of COV. This

leads to the following closed form expressions for the Risk level (%) Coefficient of variation (%)

factors of safety in terms of the risk (e) and the 5 10 15 20 25 30

coefficient of variation (COV) of the elastic moduli of

soil layers (Ei). 0.01 1.36 1.79 2.30 2.92 3.66 4.54

0.05 1.29 1.63 2.01 2.44 2.93 3.48

FOS ðsettlementÞ ¼ ½0:98 þ 0:033 ðCOVÞ 0.1 1.26 1.56 1.89 2.25 2.66 3.10

ð27Þ 0.5 1.20 1.42 1.65 1.88 2.13 2.38

e½0:0036 þ 0:0053 ðCOVÞ

1 1.17 1.36 1.55 1.74 1.93 2.12

FOS ðvertical stress at top interfaceÞ 2 1.14 1.31 1.46 1.61 1.75 1.89

¼ ½0:95 þ 0:049 ðCOVÞ e½0:0104 þ 0:0053 ðCOVÞ

ð28Þ

These closed form solutions provide the necessary

and FOS in respect of the settlement and vertical stress at

FOS ðvertical stress at bottom interfaceÞ the interface of soil layers for any assigned level of

risk. Tables comprising the computed factors of

¼ ½0:98 þ 0:038 ðCOVÞ e½0:0065 þ 0:0053 ðCOVÞ

safety for typical risk levels have been presented in

ð29Þ Tables 1, 2 and 3.

5 Concluding Remarks

Table 1 Factors of safety (deflection) corresponding to coef-

ficient of variation and associated risk factor or probability of Ideally, any soil–foundation system should be

failure

designed in a stochastic-distributed mode because

Risk level (%) Coefficient of variation (%) of inevitable uncertainty of the soil parameters

5 10 15 20 25 30 (elastic modulus) used while modeling the system

under study. However, mostly the design engineers

0.01 1.32 1.70 2.16 2.72 3.38 4.17 prefer a deterministic approach invoking mean value

0.05 1.25 1.55 1.89 2.28 2.71 3.21 of the elastic moduli and rather empirical factors of

0.1 1.23 1.49 1.79 2.11 2.47 2.86 safety to account for the uncertainty. The present

0.5 1.17 1.36 1.56 1.77 1.98 2.21 study amalgamates deterministic and the stochastic

1 1.15 1.31 1.48 1.64 1.81 1.97 approaches by linking the factors of safety (in respect

2 1.12 1.26 1.39 1.52 1.64 1.76 of the maximum settlement and vertical stresses) to

the allowable risk of failure that is essentially an

attribute of stochastic design. The linkage is achieved

Table 2 Factors of safety (vertical stress at top interface)

assuming elastic moduli of soil layers in layered soil

corresponding to coefficient of variation and associated risk

factor or probability of failure system to be a stationary random process with large

enough autocorrelation distance. With these assump-

Risk level (%) Coefficient of variation (%)

tions, the stochasticity of elastic moduli is described

5 10 15 20 25 30 completely in terms of its mean and variance.

0.01 1.42 1.93 2.55 3.30 4.20 5.28

Further, its realizations become space-invariant facil-

0.05 1.33 1.74 2.21 2.74 3.34 4.02

itating the application of a lumped parameter model.

A detailed parametric study was carried out on the

0.1 1.30 1.67 2.07 2.52 3.02 3.57

soil–strip footing system and this revealed that the

0.5 1.23 1.50 1.79 2.09 2.40 2.72

factors of safety are strongly dependent upon only

1 1.20 1.44 1.69 1.93 2.18 2.42

the coefficient of variation of the elastic moduli of

2 1.16 1.38 1.58 1.78 1.97 2.15

soil layers. This facilitated the development of closed

123

1108 Geotech Geol Eng (2011) 29:1099–1108

form equations for the three factors of safety Maheshwari P, Kashyap D (2008) Rationalization of factors of

exclusively in terms of the allowable risk of failure safety in analysis of beams on geosynthetic reinforced

random earth beds by Monte Carlo simulation. Int J

and the coefficient of variation of elastic moduli. Geotech Eng 2(3):277–284

These equations may be used in computing the Maheshwari P, Kashyap D (2009) Stochastic design of beams

necessary factors of safety for restricting the risk on reinforced random earth beds in deterministic mode.

level to any stipulated non-zero value. Georisk: Assess Manag Risk Eng Syst Geohazards 3(4):

224–231

Maheshwari P, Madhav MR (2006) Analysis of a rigid footing

lying on three layered soil using the finite difference

method. Geotech Geol Eng: Int J 24(4):851–869

References Maheshwari P, Viladkar MN (2007) Strip footings on a three

layer soil system: theory of elasticity approach. Int J

Geotech Eng 1(1):47–59

Baker R (1984) Modeling soil variability as random field.

Mahmoud AA, El Tawil MA (1992) Beams on random elastic

J Math Geol 16(5):435–448

supports. Appl Math Model 16:330–334

Baker R, Zeitoun DG (1990) Application of Adomian’s

Paice GM, Griffiths GV, Fenton GA (1996) Finite element

decomposition procedure to the analysis of a beam on

modeling of settlements on spatially random soil. J Geo-

random Winkler support. Int J Solids Struct 26(2):217–

tech Eng, ASCE 122(9):777–779

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Poulos HG, Davis EH (1974) Elastic solutions for soil and rock

Baker R, Zeitoun DG, Uzan J (1989) Analysis of a beam on

mechanics. Rainbow-Bridge Book Company, Canada

random elastic support. Soils Found 29(2):24–36

Ragab AR, Bayoumi SEA (1998) Engineering solid mechanics:

Fenton GA (1999) Estimation for stochastic soil models.

fundamentals and applications. CRC Press, Boca Raton

J Geotech Geoenviron Eng, ASCE 125(6):470–485

Righetti G, Williams KH (1988) Finite element analysis of

Fenton GA, Griffiths DV (2002) Probabilistic foundation set-

random soil media. J Geotech Eng Div, ASCE 114(1):

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59–75

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Smith L, Freeze R (1979) Stochastic analysis of steady state

Fenton GA, Griffiths DV (2005) Three-dimensional probabi-

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123

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