Reliability-Based Design for Basal Heave Stability of Deep Excavations in Spatially Varying Soils

Shih Hsuan Wu, Chang Yu Ou, Jianye Ching, C. Hsein Juang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Spatial variability of soil undrained shear strength is usually not rigorously considered in the design of basal heave for deep excavations. In this study, the slip circle method is employed to investigate how the required safety-factor against basal heave was affected by spatial variability in the context of reliability-based design. The nonstationary random field model is adopted to model spatial variability of undrained shear strength. Results show that the required safety-factor obtained with the consideration of spatial variability is much smaller than that without the consideration. Parametric studies show that the vertical scale of fluctuation has a significant influence on the required safety-factor: the longer the scale of fluctuation, the larger the required safety-factor. For target failure probabilities of 0.01 and 0.001, the corresponding required safety factors are in the ranges of 1.4-1.9 and 1.6-2.4, respectively, for the average value of vertical scale of fluctuation of 2.5 m. Design charts are provided for the ease of implementation, and an example of reliability-based design for basal stability is given for demonstration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)594-603
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - 8 May 2012


  • Basal heave
  • Deep excavation
  • Reliability-based design
  • Spatial variability


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