The impact of soil variability on uncertainty in predictions of induced vibrations
Journal article, 2023

Soil is by nature a variable, non-homogeneous material, which has implications for engineering problems involving wave propagation. This paper investigates the impact of the spatial heterogeneity of the stiffness of the soil on the three-dimensional wave propagation. A dynamic Random Finite Element Model is presented in which the soil variability is modelled by means of random fields, applied to the Young's modulus of the soil, following a Monte-Carlo approach. The results show the importance of accounting for soil variability when making predictions on the maximum vibration level. Deterministic analysis is demonstrated to be insufficient when quantifying the maximum vibration level, because no information on the expected variability of the maximum vibration level is obtained. Furthermore, the scale of fluctuation and anisotropy of the random field strongly impact the estimation of the maximum vibration level, and the time of occurrence.

Soil variability

Finite element

Wave propagation

Random fields


Bruno Zuada Coelho


J. Nuttall


A. Noordam


Jelke Dijkstra

Chalmers, Architecture and Civil Engineering, GeoEngineering

Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering

0267-7261 (ISSN)

Vol. 169 107855

Subject Categories

Applied Mechanics

Geotechnical Engineering

Probability Theory and Statistics



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