Probabilistic Methods in Geotechnical Engineering

Committee on Reliability Methods for Risk Mitigation in Geotechnical Engineering

Geotechnical Board

and

Board on Energy and Environmental Systems

Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems

NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL
Washington, D.C.
1995


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Probabilistic Methods in Geotechnical Engineering Probabilistic Methods in Geotechnical Engineering Committee on Reliability Methods for Risk Mitigation in Geotechnical Engineering Geotechnical Boardand Board on Energy and Environmental Systems Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems NATIONAL RESEARCH COUNCIL Washington, D.C. 1995

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Probabilistic Methods in Geotechnical Engineering NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the panel responsible for this report were chosen for their special expertise and with regard for appropriate balance between government, industry, and academia. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the sponsors. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. On the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of the appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an advisor to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Kenneth I. Shine is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organized by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and advising the federal government. Functioning in accordancewith general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Bruce M. Alberts and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice-chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. SPONSORS: This project was sponsored by the following agencies: Department of the Army (Army Corps of Engineers–DACW39-92-M-7433), Department of Transportation (Federal Highway Administration), National Science Foundation–MSS-9203139, Department of Energy (Yucca Mountain Project Office). Support was also provided by: Defense Nuclear Agency, Department of the Air Force (Air Force Office of Scientific Research), Department of the Interior (Bureau of Mines and Bureau of Reclamation), Department of Transportation (Federal Transit Administration), Department of Energy (Office of the Superconducting Super Collider), Department of the Army (Defense Nuclear Agency), and Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Limited copies of this report are available from the Board on Energy and Environmental Systems, National Research Council, 2101 Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20418. Copyright 1995 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Printed in the United States of America

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Probabilistic Methods in Geotechnical Engineering Committee on Reliability Methods for Risk Mitigation in Geotechnical Engineering WILSON H. TANG (Chair), University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana J. MICHAEL DUNCAN (Vice-Chair), Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg C. ALLIN CORNELL, Stanford University, Stanford, California WILLIAM S. GARDNER, W.S. Gardner and Associates, Blue Bell, Pennsylvania EMILIO ROSENBLUETH,* National Autonomous University of Mexico, Instituto de Ingenieria Ciudad Universitaria, Mexico ROBERT L. SCHUSTER, U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, Colorado TIEN H. WU, Ohio State University, Columbus JAMES K. MITCHELL, (Ex-Officio), University of California, Berkeley * Deceased January 11, 1994

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Probabilistic Methods in Geotechnical Engineering Geotechnical Board JAMES K. MITCHELL (Chair), University of California, Berkeley CLARENCE R. ALLEN California Institute of Technology, Pasadena JOAN (JODIE) Z. BERNSTEIN Waste Management, Inc., Oak Brook, Illinois DAVID E. DANIEL University of Texas at Austin WILLIAM S. GARDNER, W.S. Gardner and Associates, Blue Bell, Pennsylvania JAMES P. GOULD Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers, New York, New York FRANCOIS E. HEUZE Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California CHARLES C. LADD Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge JAMES D. MURFF Exxon Production Research Company, Houston, Texas SHLOMO P. NEUMAN The University of Arizona, Tucson THOMAS D. O'ROURKE Cornell University, Ithaca, New York REUBEN SAMUELS Parsons Brinckerhoff, New York, New York ROBERT L. SCHUSTER, U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, Colorado DON W. STEEPLES, The University of Kansas, Lawrence Staff MAHADEVAN MANI, Director PETER H. SMEALLIE, Director, Geotechnical Board (until May 1994) JENNIFER T. ESTEP, Administrative Assistant (until May 1994) AMELIA B. MATHIS, Senior Secretary/ Project Assistant

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Probabilistic Methods in Geotechnical Engineering Board on Energy and Environmental Systems H. M. (HUB) HUBBARD (Chair), President and Chief Executive Officer, Pacific International Center for High Technology Research (PICHTR), Honolulu, Hawaii RICHARD MESERVE (Vice-Chair), Partner, Covington & Burling, Washington, D.C. STEPHEN D. BAN, President, Gas Research Institute, Chicago, Illinois ROBERT D. BANKS, Program Director of Technology and Environment, World Resources Institute, Washington, D.C. ALLEN J. BARD, NAS, Professor, Department of Chemistry, The University of Texas at Austin BARBARA R. BARKOVICH, Partner, Barkovich and Yap, Consultants, San Rafael, California JAN BEYEA, Chief Scientist, National Audubon Society, New York, New York DAVID E. DANIEL, L.B. (Preach) Meaders Professor of Civil Engineering, Department of Civil Engineering, The University of Texas at Austin LINDA C. DOLAN, Staff Environmental Engineer, Martin Marietta Electronics and Missiles, Orlando, Florida ROBERT L. HIRSCH, Senior Vice President, General Atomics, Washington, D.C. FRANCOIS E. HEUZE, Head, Geotechnical Group, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, California CHARLES D. KOLSTAD, Professor, Department of Economics, University of California, Santa Barbara JANE C. S. LONG, Staff Scientist, Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, Berkeley, California SEYMOUR MEISEL, NAE, Vice President, Research (Retired), Mobil R&D Corporation, Princeton, New Jersey SHLOMO P. NEUMAN, NAE, Regents' Professor, Hydrology and Water Resources, University of Arizona, Tucson THOMAS O'ROURKE, NAE, Professor, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York LAWRENCE T. PAPAY, NAE, Vice President & Manager of Research & Development, Bechtel Group, Inc., San Francisco, California RUTH A. RECK, Director, Global Climate Change Program, Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois MARC H. ROSS, Professor, Physics Department, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor HAROLD H. SCHOBERT, Chairman, Fuel Sciences Program, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park

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Probabilistic Methods in Geotechnical Engineering JOEL SPIRA, NAE, Chairman and Director of Research, Lutron Electronics Co., Inc., Coopersburg, Pennsylvania JON M. VEIGEL, President, Oak Ridge Associated Universities, Oak Ridge, Tennessee Liaison Members to the Commission on Engineering and Technical Systems RICHARD A. CONWAY, NAE, Senior Corporate Fellow, Union Carbide Corporation, South Charleston, West Virginia TREVOR O. JONES, NAE, Chairman of the Board (Retired), Libbey-Owens-Ford Company, Cleveland, Ohio Staff MAHADEVAN MANI, Director SUSANNA CLARENDON, Administrative Assistant THERON FEIST, Project Assistant HELEN JOHNSON, Administrative Associate GEORGE LALOS, Program Officer AMELIA MATHIS, Project Assistant WENDY ORR, Project Assistant JILL WILSON, Program Officer TRACY WILSON, Senior Program Officer JAMES ZUCCHETTO, Senior Program Officer NAS   = Member, National Academy of Sciences NAE   = Member, National Academy of Engineering

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Probabilistic Methods in Geotechnical Engineering The members of the Committee on Reliability Methods for Risk Mitigation in Geotechnical Engineering wish to dedicate this report to the memory of their colleague and friend, Emilio Rosenblueth (1926–1994). Besides his contributions to the theory and practice of engineering, his wisdom, friendship, and humor will be dearly missed.

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