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A methodology for reliability-based design of rock slopes

A reliability-based methodology for the design of rock slopes, that can easily be implemented by the practicing engineers is proposed. The advanced first-order second-moment (AFOSM) method is adopted as the reliability assessment model and its application is illustrated for the case of plane failure. A model is developed within the framework of first-order second-moment approach to analyze the uncertainties underlying the in situ shear strength properties of rock discontinuities. Here, particular emphasis is given on the assessment of uncertainties related to the shear characteristics of clean, unfilled rock discontinuities under low normal stress levels. An extensive literature survey on the shear characteristics of discontinuities is carried out in order to collect data for the quantification of uncertainties. The data extracted from this literature survey are classified and reprocessed so that they can be utilized in the uncertainty analysis model. A user friendly software called ROCKREL is developed to carry out the numerical computations and to make the proposed design format more practical.