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Advances in reliability analysis of the piping failure mechanism of flood defences in the Netherlands

T. Schweckendiek 1,2, W. Kanning 1,2, S.N. Jonkman 1
1 Department of Hydraulic Engineering, Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands
2 Deltares, Unit Geo-engineering, the Netherlands

Piping is one of the main failure mechanisms for flood defences. This paper gives an overview of recent developments in the reliability analysis for this mechanism in the Netherlands. These comprise new approaches in the treatment of heterogeneity of the subsoil with respect to the failure process, the inclusion of information from field observations and monitoring by means of Bayesian Updating. Also, a framework is presented for including the effects of taking emergency flood fighting measures in reliability analysis. In essence, incorporation of each of these aspects in modelling piping reliability can change the probability of failure considerably, depending on the local conditions and amount of information available a-priori.

Key words: Internal erosion, piping, reliability analysis, spatial variability, Bayesian Updating, field observations, monitoring, site investigation, emergency measures