Calibration of resistance factors for design of shallow foundations against sliding

Pengpeng He, Gordon A. Fenton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
59 Downloads (Pure)


The design of shallow foundations typically proceeds by using the load and resistance factor design (LRFD) methodology to avoid various limit states with some probability. This paper looks at the sliding limit state of shallow foundations, and the sliding resistance factors required for the LRFD approach are estimated using reliability analyses of surface strip foundations. Cohesive and frictional soils are separately studied under wind loading conditions. Monte Carlo simulations are used to estimate the sliding failure probability of foundation designs on cohesive soils, and an analytical method is developed for frictional soils. The results indicate the existence of a “worst case” correlation length for cohesive soils, and the sliding resistance factor required to achieve target maximum lifetime failure probabilities is around 0.4 to 0.65 for moderate soil variability. For frictional soils, the required sliding resistance factor is about 0.5 to 0.85 for νΦ'=0.15. Overall, the sliding resistance factors recommended here agree well with the resistance factors of Φgu=0.6 for cohesive soils and Φgu=0.8 for frictional soils stipulated by geotechnical LRFD code provisions in Canada. The analyses can be used to estimate the reliability of current designs and can also aid the calibration of geotechnical design codes.
Original languageCanadian English
JournalCanadian Geotechnical Journal
Early online date26 Sept 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 26 Sept 2022


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