Methodology for estimating the probability of failure by sliding in concrete gravity dams in the context of risk analysis

Autores UPV


Dam safety based on risk analysis methodologies demand quantification of the risk of the dam-reservoir system. This means that, for a given initial state of the system, and for the several failure modes considered, it is necessary to estimate the probability of the load events and the conditional probability of response of the system for a given load event, as well as estimating the consequences on the environment for the obtained response of the system. The following paper focuses in the second of these probabilities, that is, quantifying the conditional probability of response of the system, for a given load event, and for the specific case of concrete gravity dams. Dam-reservoir systems have a complex behavior which has been tackled traditionally by simplifications in the formulation of the models and adoption of safety factors. The purpose of the methodology described in this paper is to improve the estimation of the conditional probability of response of the dam-reservoir system for concrete gravity dams, using complex behavior models based on numerical simulation techniques, together with reliability techniques of different levels of precision are applied, including Level 3 reliability techniques with Monte Carlo simulation. The paper includes an example of application of the proposed methodology to a Spanish concrete gravity dam, considering the failure mode of sliding along the rock-concrete interface. In the context of risk analysis, the results obtained for conditional probability of failure allow several conclusions related to their validity and safety implications that acquire a significant relevance due to the innovation of the study performed