Probability-Based Diagnosis of Defective Geotechnical Engineering Structures

Many earth structures, including foundations, retaining walls, and road embankments, exhibit signs of distress, such as excessive vertical or lateral movements and cracking. Rotation or tilting and cracking of the structural components in retaining walls are quite common and constitute the majority of cases of concern in built-up areas. This paper describes a general iterative methodology for the diagnosis of existing civil infrastructure, with emphasis on geotechnical problems. The term diagnosis, as used in this paper, refers to the process of determining a set of technical explanations for the occurrence of the observed defects. Using probability theory, the investigating engineer is in a better position to make informed decisions rather than simply relying on experience and intuition. Engineering decisions include the correctness of a given hypothesis; whether further investigations are necessary or a terminal decision can be made; and whether appropriate corrective action can be undertaken. A case study is used to demonstrate the application of the methodology.


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  • Accession Number: 01011048
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Nov 20 2005 7:12PM