Reliability and variance-based sensitivity analysis of arch dams during construction and reservoir impoundment

  • M. Houshmand Khaneghahi
  • M. AlembagheriEmail author
  • N. Soltani
Research Article


The static performance of arch dams during construction and reservoir impoundment is assessed taking into account the effects of uncertainties presented in the model properties as well as the loading conditions. Dez arch dam is chosen as the case study; it is modeled along with its rock foundation using the finite element method considering the stage construction. Since previous studies concentrated on simplified models and approaches, comprehensive study of the arch dam model along with efficient and state-of-the-art uncertainty methods are incorporated in this investigation. The reliability method is performed to assess the safety level and the sensitivity analyses for identifying critical input factors and their interaction effects on the response of the dam. Global sensitivity analysis based on improved Latin hypercube sampling is employed in this study to indicate the influence of each random variable and their interaction on variance of the responses. Four levels of model advancement are considered for the dam-foundation system: 1) Monolithic dam without any joint founded on the homogeneous rock foundation, 2) monolithic dam founded on the inhomogeneous foundation including soft rock layers, 3) jointed dam including the peripheral and contraction joints founded on the homogeneous foundation, and 4) jointed dam founded on the inhomogeneous foundation. For each model, proper performance indices are defined through limit-state functions. In this manner, the effects of input parameters in each performance level of the dam are investigated. The outcome of this study is defining the importance of input factors in each stage and model based on the variance of the dam response. Moreover, the results of sampling are computed in order to assess the safety level of the dam in miscellaneous loading and modeling conditions.


concrete arch dams reliability randomness improved Latin hypercube sampling variance-based sensitivity analysis exceedance probability Sobol′ index 


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Copyright information

© Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Houshmand Khaneghahi
    • 1
  • M. Alembagheri
    • 2
    Email author
  • N. Soltani
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringShahid Beheshti UniversityTehranIran
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringTarbiat Modares UniversityTehranIran

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