Reliability-based structural assessment of historical masonry arch bridges: The case study of Cernadela bridge
UNIVERSAL IDENTIFIER: http://hdl.handle.net/11093/4846
EDITED VERSION: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cscm.2023.e02003
UNESCO SUBJECT: 3305.06 Ingeniería Civil
DOCUMENT TYPE: article
Nowadays, several historical masonry arch bridges present a deficient state of conservation due to degradation processes induced by natural or human actions. Usually, these constructions have significant economic, cultural, and heritage value. Therefore, they shall be thoroughly assessed to verify their structural integrity and safety condition. For this purpose, reliability-based structural assessments are typically performed. However, the associated outcomes (i.e., reliability index and probability of failure) highly rely on the accuracy of the structural parameters uncertainty quantification. This work presents a study regarding the influence of the scattering of the arches' thickness dimensions in the load-carrying capacity assessment of the Cernadela Bridge, a historical stone bridge located in Galicia, Spain. The study first involved a comprehensive experimental campaign to characterize the outer and inner bridge geometry through geomatic techniques, i.e., terrestrial laser scanning and ground penetrating radar. Subsequently, a limit analysis model was developed, considering only the arches' outer (visible) data. From this initial structural assessment, a reliability index of 2.38 was obtained. The influence of the uncertain structural parameters, both geometric features and material properties, in the collapse load was investigated through a global variance-based sensitivity analysis (i.e., Sobol' indices) complemented by a surrogate modeling strategy based on the Kriging approach. Finally, the measured inner geometry of the arches was introduced in the computational model through Bayesian inference procedures. Thus, two new structural assessments were performed: first, by considering the updated distributions of all arches thicknesses, and second, by considering only the updated distributions of the non-influential ones. Reliability indexes of 1.51 and 2.33 were derived, thus highlighting the importance of a proper uncertainty quantification process and the relevance of the sensitivity analysis outcomes to identify the critical parameters on the bridge mechanical response.
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