Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence


Geology, Civil engineering, Environmental and geological engineering, Geotechnics

Publication Details

Journal title: Obras y Proyectos (open access title)

ISSN: 0718-2813

Volume: None applicable

Issue: 22

Creative Commons Licence: This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The design and construction of foundations, retaining structures and slopes are usually based on deterministic formulations that do not allow the distinction between the natural variability and the inherent dispersion in the geotechnical parameters. Due to the inherent variability of the soil properties, there is a growing trend to implement reliability-based designs in geotechnical engineering to reduce design uncertainties by probabilistic methods. The reliability designs require the definition of the probability density functions of the geotechnical properties, as well as knowledge of the spatial variability of soils. This paper identifies the procedures, type of soil investigations, simulations and the most commonly studied areas in geotechnical reliability-based designs. The importance of the correlation length in defining the reduction factors to determine the probabilities of occurrence of events, with Monte Carlo as the most used simulation method in this type of designs, is highlighted. The most commonly studied problems in this regard are related to foundation design and slope stability analyses whereas earth retaining walls and gabion walls are the less studied. Furthermore, no study was found in the determination of the variation of the soil-wall friction nor in the geological influence for this type of structures, which implies a great potential for future research in these areas.



Administrative Department of Science, Technology and Innovation of Colombia – Colciencias