Probabilistic analysis of flood embankment stability: the case study of the Adige River embankment in Italy

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Flooding is a worldwide phenomenon. Over the last few decades the world has experienced a rising number of devastating flood events and the trend in such natural disasters is increasing. Furthermore, escalations in both the probability and magnitude of flood hazards are expected as a result of climate change. Flood defence embankments are one of the major flood defence measures and stability assessment for these structures is therefore a very important process. Traditional deterministic approaches to stability analysis do not allow taking into account and quantifying the uncertainties in soil characterisation. For this reason they may not be sufficient to capture the failure of flood embankments. The paper presents a probabilistic approach for the stability analysis of flood embankments taking into account the probabilistic distribution of soil hydro-mechanical properties. The approach is validated against the failure case study of the Adige river embankment in Italy, by comparing the probability of failure of two sections, within and outside the failure segment respectively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number01003
Number of pages5
JournalE3S Web of Conferences
Publication statusPublished - 16 Oct 2020
Event4th European Conference on Unsaturated Soils, E-UNSAT 2020 - Lisboa, Portugal
Duration: 19 Oct 202021 Oct 2020


  • flooding
  • floods
  • natural disasters
  • flood hazards
  • flood defence
  • stability analysis
  • probabilistic approach
  • soil hydro-mechanical properties
  • Italy


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