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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 512648, 8 pages
Research Article

Reliability Analysis of High Rockfill Dam Stability

School of Civil Engineering, Dalian University of Technology, Dalian 116024, China

Received 11 September 2014; Accepted 17 April 2015

Academic Editor: Rafael J. Villanueva

Copyright © 2015 Ping Yi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


A program 3DSTAB combining slope stability analysis and reliability analysis is developed and validated. In this program, the limit equilibrium method is utilized to calculate safety factors of critical slip surfaces. The first-order reliability method is used to compute reliability indexes corresponding to critical probabilistic surfaces. When derivatives of the performance function are calculated by finite difference method, the previous iteration’s critical slip surface is saved and used. This sequential approximation strategy notably improves efficiency. Using this program, the stability reliability analyses of concrete faced rockfill dams and earth core rockfill dams with different heights and different slope ratios are performed. The results show that both safety factors and reliability indexes decrease as the dam’s slope increases at a constant height and as the dam’s height increases at a constant slope. They decrease dramatically as the dam height increases from 100 m to 200 m while they decrease slowly once the dam height exceeds 250 m, which deserves attention. Additionally, both safety factors and reliability indexes of the upstream slope of earth core rockfill dams are higher than that of the downstream slope. Thus, the downstream slope stability is the key failure mode for earth core rockfill dams.