Stochastic design charts for bearing capacity of strip footings
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Traditional design methods of bearing capacity of shallow foundations are deterministic in the sense that they do not explicitly consider the inherent uncertainty associated with the factors affecting bearing capacity. To account for such uncertainty, available deterministic methods rather employ a fixed global factor of safety that may lead to inappropriate bearing capacity predictions. An alternative stochastic approach is essential to provide a more rational estimation of bearing capacity. In this paper, the likely distribution of predicted bearing capacity of strip footings subjected to vertical loads is obtained using a stochastic approach based on the Monte Carlo simulation. The approach accounts for the uncertainty associated with the soil shear strength parameters: cohesion, c, and friction angle, f, and the cross correlation between c and f. A set of stochastic design charts that assure target reliability levels of 90% and 95%, are developed for routine use by practitioners. The charts negate the need for a factor of safety and provide a more reliable indication of what the actual bearing capacity might be.
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