Automated dike assesment

One of our graduate students wrote his thesis about: the automation of the current process for assessing macro stability inwards to perform calculations with a high spatial density.

The safety assessment of levees is currently carried out by dividing the levee into sections that are as much as possible homogeneous in terms of geometry and stratigraphy. Then, for each dike section, one dike profile and stratigraphy are chosen as the representative. This approach is time consuming and subjective in the way the representative cross-section is identified. Furthermore, the division of the dike into sections, whereby one cross section is calculated as the representative, can lead to assessing parts of a dike section unfavorably. The research topic of my bachelor thesis involved an automated calculation of cross sections at an interval of 25 meters along a 4 km long dike stretch. The high-density calculations were compared with the current approach, where only one representative cross-section is calculated.

The automated approach adopted in the research proved to be helpful in determining dike sections with more homogeneous characteristics than the ones that would result from the standard approach. Instead of determining the representative cross section based on assumptions on the most critical soil layering and geometry, the automated approach allows us to calculate all the cross sections exploiting all the available data. An eventual division of the dike in segments can be done at the end of the process, basing the decision on the calculated Factor of Safety, instead of on initial assumptions.

In this research GEOlib was used, a powerful geotechnical Python API that supports an automated process, to write the input file for D-Stability. D-Stability Console versions have also been used to execute the generated files. We ran through 117 cross sections in just under 4 minutes!

screenshot of d-stability calculating dike stability

Case A5H

Secondary dike

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