This study addresses the impact of spatial variability on the angle of distortion between two footings in rockmasses. A simple elasto-perfectly-plastic model based on the Hoek–Brown criterion is taken to simulate the spatial variation of rockmass properties in the finite element analyses. This model is calibrated by a large rockmass database. With Monte Carlo simulations, stochastic samples of angle of distortion between two footings are obtained, which are further used to derive reliability-basedallowablebearing stresses. The analysis results show that the geological strength index (GSI) of rockmasses and uniaxial compressive strength of intact rock are the two dominate factors that affect the reliability-baseddesign. Comparisons to the existing codes show that these codes are appropriate for poor to fair rockmasses, conservative for good to very good rockmasses and un-conservative for very poor rockmasses.
International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences 48(5), pp.728-740