Probabilistic Analysis of Bearing Capacity of Strip Foundations Overlying Reinforced Embankments

Document Type: Original Article


Department of Civil Engineering, Arak University, Arak, Iran.



In cases where the soil underlying the foundation is loose and unable to carry the loads imposed by the structure, improving the soil by an appropriate approach is essential. The application of polymeric materials such as geogrids, in recent decades, has been of interest to engineers and researchers in order to increase the bearing capacity of soil foundations. Geogrid reinforcements allow for achieving an increased bearing capacity or a reduced layer thickness of soil improvements. The most significant factor used in the design of shallow foundations is the bearing capacity of the foundation along with its settlement. In geotechnical investigations, probabilistic analyses could be beneficial in the relevant problems. The Monte Carlo probabilistic simulation method is one of the most commonly used methods in solving geotechnical problems. Therefore, in the current research, a reasonable estimation of the bearing capacity of a strip foundation has been conducted by using a numerical model with the help of the discrete-element software FLAC3D in conjunction with the calculation of the probabilistic bearing capacity via the Monte Carlo simulation method and by considering the uncertainty of the soil internal friction angle and cohesion coefficients.


[1] Todd MK. Handbook of geotechnical investigation and design tables. 2nd ed. Australia: CRC Press; 2017 Jun 29. [View at Google Scholar]; [View at Publisher].

[2] Carroll MM, Katsube N. The role of Terzaghi effective stress in linearly elastic deformation. 1983 Dec 1; 105(4): 509-511. [View at Google Scholar]; [View at Publisher].

[3] Filz GM. Load transfer, settlement, and stability of embankments founded on columns installed by deep mixing methods. National Technical University of Athens School of Civil Engineering Geotechnical Department–Foundation Engineering Laboratory. 2007; 1-35. [View at Google Scholar]; [View at Publisher].

[4] Tafreshi SM, Dawson AR. Comparison of bearing capacity of a strip footing on sand with geocell and with planar forms of geotextile reinforcement. Geotextiles and Geomembranes. 2010 Feb 1;28(1):72-84. [View at Google Scholar]; [View at Publisher].

[5] Altalhe EB, Taha MR, Abdrabbo FM. Bearing capacity of strip footing on sand slopes reinforced with geotextile and soil nails. Jurnal Teknologi. 2013 Sep 25;65(2):1-11. [View at Google Scholar]; [View at Publisher].

[6] Han J, Gabr MA. Numerical analysis of geosynthetic-reinforced and pile-supported earth platforms over soft soil. Journal of geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering. 2002 Jan;128(1):44-53. [View at Google Scholar]; [View at Publisher].

[7] Ye GB, Wang M, Zhang Z, Han J, Xu C. Geosynthetic-reinforced pile-supported embankments with caps in a triangular pattern over soft clay. Geotextiles and Geomembranes. 2020 Feb 1;48(1):52-61. [View at Google Scholar]; [View at Publisher].

[8] Girout R, Blanc M, Thorel L, Dias D. Geosynthetic reinforcement of pile-supported embankments. Geosynthetics International. 2018 Jan 8;25(1):37-49. [View at Google Scholar]; [View at Publisher].

[9] Shams B, Ardakani A, Roustaei M. Laboratory investigation of geotextile position on CBR of clayey sand soil under freeze-thaw cycle. Scientia Iranica. 2019 Jan 23;1(1): 1-31. [View at Google Scholar]; [View at Publisher].

[10] Pokharel SK, Han J, Leshchinsky D, Parsons RL. Experimental evaluation of geocell-reinforced bases under repeated loading. International Journal of Pavement Research and Technology. 2018 Mar 1;11(2):114-127. [View at Google Scholar]; [View at Publisher].

[11] Satyal SR, Leshchinsky B, Han J, Neupane M. Use of cellular confinement for improved railway performance on soft subgrades. Geotextiles and Geomembranes. 2018 Apr 1;46 (2):190-205. [View at Google Scholar]; [View at Publisher].

[12] Tingle JS. Mechanistic Analyses of Geosynthetic Reinforced Aggregate Road Test Sections. Transportation Research Record. 2019 Sep 15; 2673(12): 1-15. [View at Google Scholar]; [View at Publisher].

[13] Goodman RE. Karl Terzaghi: The engineer as artist. United States of America: American Society of Civil Engineers; 1999. [View at Google Scholar]; [View at Publisher].

[14] Hull JH, inventor; AquaBlok Ltd, assignee. Soil-like material and method of making a barrier for containing waste. United States patent application US 16/090,882. 2019 Oct 31.[View at Google Scholar]; [View at Publisher].

[15] Huang B, Gong H, Shu X. Evaluation of Geosynthetics Reinforcement in Flexible Pavement Structures Using Accelerated Pavement Testing. Nashville: TDOT; 2018 Oct. TN 37243. [View at Google Scholar]; [View at Publisher].

[16] Malkawi AI, Hassan WF, Abdulla FA. Uncertainty and reliability analysis applied to slope stability. Structural safety. 2000 Jun 1;22(2):161-187. [View at Google Scholar]; [View at Publisher].

[17] Esfandiari J, Selamat MR. Laboratory investigation on the effect of transverse member on pull out capacity of metal strip reinforcement in sand. Geotextiles and Geomembranes. 2012 Dec 1;35:41-49. [View at Google Scholar]; [View at Publisher].

[18] Liu M, Yang M, Wang H. Bearing behavior of wide-shallow bucket foundation for offshore wind turbines in drained silty sand. Ocean Engineering. 2014 May 15; 82:169-179. [View at Google Scholar]; [View at Publisher].

[19] Charlton TS, Rouainia M. A probabilistic approach to the ultimate capacity of skirted foundations in spatially variable clay. Structural Safety. 2017 Mar 1;65:126-136. [View at Google Scholar]; [View at Publisher].

[20] Li L, Li J, Huang J, Liu H, Cassidy MJ. The bearing capacity of spudcan foundations under combined loading in spatially variable soils. Engineering geology. 2017 Sep 21;227:139-148. [View at Google Scholar]; [View at Publisher].

[21] Park JS, Park D. Vertical bearing capacity of bucket foundation in sand overlying clay. Ocean Engineering. 2017 Apr 1;134:62-76. [View at Google Scholar]; [View at Publisher].

[22] Hegde A, Sitharam TG. 3-Dimensional numerical modelling of geoell reinforced sand beds. Geotextiles and Geomembranes. 2015 Apr 1;43(2):171-181. [View at Google Scholar]; [View at Publisher].

[23] Cerato AB, Lutenegger AJ. Scale effects of shallow foundation bearing capacity on granular material. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering. 2007 Oct;133(10):1192-1202. [View at Google Scholar]; [View at Publisher].

[24] Naseri, F., Bagherzadeh Khalkhali, A. Evaluation of Seismic Performance of Concrete Gravity Dams Under Soil-structure-reservoir Interaction Exposed to Vertical Component of Near-field Earthquakes During Impounding Case study: Pine Flat Dam. Journal of civil Engineering and Materials Application, 2018; 2(4): 181-191. [View at Google Scholar]; [View at Publisher].