Reliability assessment of excavation-related movements of underground structures

Anthony T.C. Goh, A. M. Hefney

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A major consideration in the design of excavation-related underground structures is the prediction of the movements associated with the construction operations. Excessive movements can lead to failure of the geotechnical structure or adjacent facilities. Most analytical methods currently used to estimate these deformations are deterministic, and ignore the many associated uncertainties such as the variability of the loadings and the variability of the geotechnical properties. A risk-based approach to performance failure is necessary to incorporate systematically the uncertainties associated with the various design parameters. This paper summarizes the procedure to assess the reliability of displacements associated with excavation-related construction activities such as tunnels and braced excavation systems using the first-order reliability method. Examples are presented to illustrate feasibility of the proposed method. With this method, it is possible to carry out sensitivity studies to examine the effect of the level of uncertainty of each parameter on the probability that the displacement-related limit state has been exceeded.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeoFlorida 2010
Subtitle of host publicationAdvances in Analysis, Modeling and Design - Proceedings of the GeoFlorida 2010 Conference
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
EventGeoFlorida 2010: Advances in Analysis, Modeling and Design Conference - West Palm Beach, FL, United States
Duration: Feb 20 2010Feb 24 2010

Publication series

NameGeotechnical Special Publication
ISSN (Print)0895-0563


OtherGeoFlorida 2010: Advances in Analysis, Modeling and Design Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityWest Palm Beach, FL


  • Excavation
  • Structural reliability
  • Underground structures

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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