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Water Parameters

For each material in the Define Material Properties dialog, Water Parameters can be
defined, which determine the pore pressure calculation for each material. The Water
Parameters depend on the Groundwater Method chosen in the Project Settings dialog.
NOTE: for materials using one of the following Strength Type models:

Undrained

No Strength

Infinite Strength

Water Parameters are not applicable, and are disabled.


Water Surfaces
If the Groundwater Method in Project Settings is Water Surfaces, then the following
Water Parameters will apply:
Water Surface
The user must choose the Water Surface (Water Table or Piezo Line ) which
corresponds to the material type (soil region) they are defining. Only existing Water
Surfaces will appear in the list. Piezo Lines are identified by an ID number. The user
may also choose None (this is the default selection) if no Water Surface is associated
with a given material. Pore pressure will be zero for a material, if Water Surface =
None.
Hu Coefficient
The Hu Coefficient as defined in Slide is simply a factor between 0 and 1, by which the
VERTICAL distance from a point in the soil (e.g. the center of a slice base) to a Water
Surface (either a Water Table or Piezo Line) is multiplied to obtain the pressure head.
The Hu Coefficient is used to calculate the pore pressure as follows:

where:
= pore pressure
= the Pore Fluid Unit Weight (entered in the Project Settings dialog)
= the vertical distance from the base of a slice to a Water Surface

= the Hu coefficient for the soil type (either user defined or Auto, see
below)

NOTE:

If the distance h is negative, (i.e. Water Surface is below the base of a slice)
then the pore pressure is set to zero.

If a Water Surface is not defined above a given slice, then the safety factor
calculation for that particular slip surface will not proceed, and an error
message will be written to the file. It is up to the user to ensure that Water
Surfaces span all of the required soil regions.

There are two ways of defining the Hu Coefficient - Auto or Custom.


Custom Hu
With the Custom option, the user can enter their own value for Hu. A value between 0
and 1 must be specified. For example:

Hu = 1 would indicate hydrostatic conditions. This can be used where the


Water Surface is horizontal. Where the Water Surface is inclined, setting Hu =
1 will provide a conservative (low) estimate of the safety factor, since in
general this will overestimate the true pore pressure. In most cases, the user
will simply set Hu = 1, because this represents the worst case scenario
(maximum pore pressure).

Hu = 0 would indicate a dry soil. Pore pressure will be zero. Setting Hu = 0


can be used to turn "off" the pore pressure for a material, although this can
also be achieved by setting Water Surface = None.

Intermediate values of Hu can be used to simulate head loss due to seepage.


This would be applicable where the Water Surface is inclined. The user could
create a separate material region for each segment of the Water Surface
which is inclined, and enter Hu values less than 1. However, the Auto Hu
option, described below, can be used to automatically account for the
inclination of the Water Surface.

NOTE: if you are using Piezometric Lines, you should, strictly speaking, use the
Custom Hu option, with Hu = 1. This is because a Piezometric Line is usually a direct
representation of the pressure head, for a specific slip surface. However, in Slide, the
user may decide how to apply the Hu Coefficient, for any type of Water Surface
(Water Table or Piezometric Lines).
Auto Hu
With the Auto Hu option, Slide will automatically calculate a value of Hu, based on the
inclination (angle) of the Water Surface, above any given point. This is based on the

assumption that the equipotential line which passes through the center of a slice base,
is a straight line, between the slice base and the Water Surface (strictly applicable for
an infinite slope case). This is illustrated below.

= the inclination of the Water Surface (above a given point)

= VERTICAL distance, from center of slice base, to Water Surface

Simple geometry can be used to show that the pressure head, as illustrated in the
diagram below, is equal to
therefore equal to
1.

. The automatically calculated Hu coefficient, is

. For a horizontal Water Surface,

= 0, and Hu =

Automatic Calculation of Hu coefficient

The Auto Hu option is a useful method of estimating pore pressures, based on the
inclination of a Water Surface. In the absence of more accurate data (e.g. Seepage
Analysis results), this is a simple but useful method of approximating head loss due to
seepage.
Ru Coefficient
If the Groundwater Method = Ru Coefficient in Project Settings, then the following Water
Parameters will apply:
Ru Value
An Ru coefficient between 0 and 1 must be specified. The Ru coefficient used in Slide
is the one widely used, which simply models the pore pressure as a fraction of the
vertical earth pressure for each slice.

NOTE: the calculation of the vertical earth pressure includes the weight of ponded
water, if a material is submerged under water. However, the vertical pressure does
NOT include forces due to external loads (e.g. line, distributed or seismic loads).
If one soil type has regions of differing Ru values, then a different material will have to
be defined for each different Ru value. Appropriate Material Boundaries will have to be
added to the model, in order to define the different soil regions.
Using Ru with Water Surfaces or Grids
It is possible to use the Ru method of pore pressure calculation, in conjunction with either
Water Surfaces or Water Pressure grids.

If the Groundwater Method (in Project Settings) = Water Surfaces, and Water
Surfaces = None (in Define Materials), you will be able to enter an Ru value for the
material.

If the Groundwater Method (in Project Settings) = one of the 3 Water Pressure Grid
methods, and Grid = Off (in Define Materials), you will be able to enter an Ru value
for the material.

For each material, only one method of pore pressure calculation can be used. For example,
if you specify a Water Surface for a material (e.g. Water Surface = Water Table), then an Ru
value cannot be used for that material. If you are using an Ru value for a material, then you
cannot specify a Water Surface for that material (i.e. Water Surface = None). You cannot
simultaneously use more than one method of (initial) pore pressure calculation, for a single
material.
Pore Pressure Grids
If the Groundwater Method in Project Settings is one of the three Grid options (Total
Head, Pressure Head or Pore Pressure), then the following Water Parameters will apply:
Grid On/Off
The effect of a pore pressure grid can be turned ON or OFF for a given material. If
toggled OFF, then pore pressure will be set to zero for that material, and no pore
pressure calculations will be done for that material. Default is ON.
Finite Element Analysis
If the Groundwater Method = Steady State FEA in Project Settings, then Water
Parameters are NOT defined in the Define Material Properties dialog, because the pore
pressures are calculated by the finite element Groundwater Analysis. However, you will be
able to enter Unsaturated Shear Strength parameters (Phib and Air Entry Value) which
define the rate of increase of shear strength, due to negative pore pressures in the
unsaturated zone. See the Unsaturated Shear Strength topic for details.
Initial Pore Pressure / Excess Pore Pressure

If you are using the B-bar method to calculate excess pore pressure due to undrained
loading, then the Water Parameters, as described above, will define the Initial Pore Pressure
for a material. Excess pore pressure is calculated using the B-bar method (see the Excess
Pore Pressure topic for details). The final pore pressure used in the stability analysis is the
sum of the Initial Pore Pressure + Excess Pore Pressure.

Add Water Table


A Water Table (phreatic surface) can be used for calculating pore pressure when the
Groundwater Method in Project Settings is set to Water Surfaces. The Water Table can also
be used to define ponded water above the slope surface.
To add a Water Table to your model:
1. Select Add Water Table

from the toolbar or the Boundaries menu.

2. Enter the vertices of the Water Table as described in Entering Coordinates.


IMPORTANT NOTE: the Water Table MUST BE DEFINED ACROSS ALL MATERIALS for
which pore pressure is to be calculated using the Water Table. If it is not, then the
analysis will not be able to calculate the pore pressure for slip surfaces where the
Water Table is not defined, and a safety factor will NOT BE CALCULATED. Therefore,
always make sure that the Water Table spans all relevant material zones of the model,
or the slope will not be analyzed where the Water Table is undefined
3. When all vertices are entered, right-click and select Done, or press Enter with
nothing in the prompt line.
4. You will now see the Assign Water Table dialog. Select the checkbox for each
material for which pore pressure is to be calculated using the Water Table (by default
all checkboxes are automatically selected.) NOTE:

The Water Table can also be assigned to materials using the Define Material
Properties dialog. The Assign Water Table dialog is simply a shortcut, which
allows you to quickly assign the Water Table to all desired materials at once.

For more information about the Assign Water Table dialog, see the Assign
Water Surfaces topic.

5. When you are finished with the Assign Water Table dialog, select OK.
6. The Water Table will appear on the model as a blue line. The first and last segments
of the Water Table are marked by a triangular water level symbol, and a letter W.

(The letter W is to distinguish the Water Table from Piezometric Lines, if they are also
being used. Piezometric Lines are automatically numbered, starting at 1).
NOTE: only ONE Water Table can be defined for a model. After a Water Table is added, the
Add Water Table option is disabled. If you want to add a completely new Water Table,
then you must first delete the existing Water Table with the Delete Boundary option, and
then add a new Water Table.
Pore Pressure Calculation
For details about how pore pressure is calculated in Slide using a Water Table (or a
Piezometric Line), see the Water Parameters topic in the Properties section of this Help
system.
Ponded Water Defined By A Water Table
An important feature of the Water Table in Slide, is the automatic creation of "ponded
water", if the Water Table is drawn above the slope (External Boundary).
If a Water Table is drawn above the External Boundary, Slide will automatically create a
region of ponded water below the Water Table and above the External Boundary. In general,
this is the simplest and recommended way to model ponded water. The region of ponded
water is automatically filled with a blue hatch pattern, as illustrated below.
Ponded water automatically created by Water Table

Ponded water affects the slope stability calculations, by the weight of the water on the slope
(vertical force), and also by the horizontal hydrostatic force exerted on the slope. Also note:
1. If the setting of the Groundwater Method in Project Settings is:

Ru Coefficients, or

Pore Pressure Grid (Total Head, Pressure Head or Pore Pressure),

then Ponded Water can still be defined by a Water Table, but the Water Table will NOT
be used to calculate the pore pressure.
2. If the setting of the Groundwater Method in Project Settings is:

Steady State FEA (finite element analysis)

then Ponded Water CANNOT be defined by a Water Table (the Add Water Table
option will be disabled). When you are performing a finite element groundwater
analysis, Ponded Water is automatically defined by the Total Head boundary
conditions.
3. Ponded water can also be modeled as a "No Strength" material. In this case, the
region of ponded water is included WITHIN the External Boundary, in the same
manner as a soil region. A "No Strength" material must then be defined in the Define
Materials dialog, and assigned to the region of ponded water. This is illustrated in the
Strength Type topic. In most cases this is NOT recommended because it is much
easier to model Ponded Water using a Water Table, than as a No Strength material.
Saturated Unit Weight and the Water Table
If you wish to define different unit weights for your materials above and below a Water
Table, then the Water Table must exist for this purpose.

If a Water Table exists, then you may define both Saturated and Unsaturated Unit
Weight of materials, in the Define Material Properties dialog.

If a Water Table does not exist, then only a single unit weight can be defined for a
material.

Piezometric Lines vs. the Water Table


The method of pore pressure calculation is exactly the same for a Water Table or a
Piezometric Line. However, Piezometric Lines are differentiated from the Water Table in Slide
for the following reasons:

The Water Table can be used to define ponded water, by simply drawing the Water
Table above the External Boundary. This is illustrated above. A Piezometric Line
drawn above the External Boundary, will NOT define ponded water.

A Water Table allows you to define different Unit Weights for a material above and
below the Water Table. This cannot be done with a Piezometric Line.

A Water Table can be used in conjunction with a Pore Pressure grid, to ensure that
pore pressures above the Water Table are always zero. (See the Water Pressure Grid
topic for details.) Piezometric Lines cannot be defined in conjunction with Water
Pressure Grids in Slide.

Rapid Drawdown Analysis


If you are performing a rapid drawdown analysis:

The Add Water Table option is used to define the initial water level. In this case the
water table is labeled W (Initial).

You can define a second water table which defines the drawdown water level using
the Add Drawdown Line option. A drawdown line is labeled W (Final).

Add Piezometric Line


Piezo Lines can be used for calculating pore pressure when the Groundwater Method in
Project Settings is set to Water Surfaces. A Piezometric Line in Slide can represent an
actual Piezometric surface obtained from piezometer measurements, for example.
To add a Piezometric Line to your model:
1. Select Add Piezometric Line from the Boundaries menu.
2. Enter the vertices of the Piezometric Line as described in Entering Coordinates.
IMPORTANT NOTE: the Piezo Line MUST BE DEFINED ACROSS ALL MATERIALS for
which pore pressure is to be calculated using the Piezo Line. If it is not, then the
analysis will not be able to calculate the pore pressure for slip surfaces where the
Piezo Line is not defined, and a safety factor will NOT BE CALCULATED. Therefore,
always make sure that a Piezo Line spans all relevant material zones of the model, or
the slope will not be analyzed where the Piezo Line is undefined
3. When all vertices are entered, right-click and select Done, or press Enter with
nothing in the prompt line.

4. You will now see the Assign Piezo Line dialog. Select the checkbox for each
material for which pore pressure is to be calculated using the Piezo Line. NOTE:

A Piezo Line can also be assigned to materials using the Define Material
Properties dialog. The Assign Piezo Line dialog is simply a shortcut, which
allows you to quickly assign a Piezo Line to all desired materials at once.

For more information about the Assign Piezo Line dialog, see the Assign Water
Surfaces topic.

5. When you are finished with the Assign Piezo Line dialog, select OK.
6. The Piezometric Line will appear on the model as a blue line, with an automatically
assigned ID number (see below for details).
Piezometric Line ID Number
Piezometric Lines are automatically given an ID number, which will appear at the mid-point
of the first and last segments of the Piezometric Line. This ID number is used to identify
Piezometric Lines with the corresponding soil region(s) of the model, in the Define Materials
dialog. The Piezometric Line ID numbers range from 1 to 20, and are assigned in order,
according to how many Piezometric Lines are already defined. A maximum of 20 Piezometric
Lines can be defined for a model.
Pore Pressure Calculation
Pore pressure calculation for a Piezo Line is exactly the same as for a Water Table. For
details, see the Water Parameters topic.
Piezometric Lines vs. the Water Table
For the purposes of pore pressure calculation, a Piezometric Line and a Water Table are
interchangeable in Slide. However, the Water Table has a number of additional features
which are not available when using a Piezo Line. See the Add Water Table topic for the
differences between using a Water Table or a Piezometric Line in Slide.