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Slope stability analysis

Unit of stress:
1 kilopascal kPa
= 1 kN/m2
1,000N (Kilo Newtons per square
meter)
1m

Slightly above-average
1m American male

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Unit weights of materials (per m3)
Water, γw = gρw = 9.81 kN/m3
Vs= volume solids
Solid rock, γs = 26.0 kN/m3 Vv= volume voids
Porosity:
n=Vv/(Vv+Vs)

Soil-made up of solid grains and pores

air Dry soil, idealized:


γd = γsVs/(Vs+Vv) = γs(1-n) = 15-20 kN/m3

water Saturated soil:


γsat = (γsVs+ γsVs)/(Vs+Vv) =20-23 kN/m3
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Infinite slope equation

z = zd+zw zd
zw
β
L
Fig. 1 Fig. 2
Slope cross-section Isolate a column

N Flow lines
β Equipotential lines
W
Zwcosβ
T
Fig. 3 Fig. 4
Force polygon Groundwater pressure
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c'+ (γ d z d + γ sat z w − γ w z w ) cos β tan φ
F=
(γ d z d + γ sat z w ) sin β
γw = unit weight of water (9.81 kN/m3)
γd = dry unit weight of soil (15-20 kN/m3)
γsat = saturated unit weight of soil (20-23 kN/m3)

Note: the soil column is assumed


to be 1m wide perpendicular to paper

Assume no cohesion (c=0) and full saturation, zd = 0:

z w (γ sat − γ w ) cos β tan φ γ tan φ tan φ


F= = (1 − w ) ≈ 0.5
γ sat z w sin β γ sat tan β tan β

Assume no cohesion (c=0) and a dry slope, zw = 0:

tan φ
F=
tan β

Conclusion: a dry cohesionless slope will be at the point of


failure when β=φ ("angle of repose"). However, a saturated
slope with parallel seepage will be about half as steep.
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Role of cohesion:
Assume fully saturated
slope, parallel seepage
z = zw= 1.5 m
φ = 32º
c'+ (γ d z d + γ sat z w − γ w z w ) cos β tan φ
F=
(γ d z d + γ sat z w ) sin β

Solve equation to find c’ when


F=1.0 (at failure)
Conclusion:
Slopes in mountainous
regions require cohesion
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Undrained (short term) slope failure in clay


c'+ (γ d z d + γ sat z w − γ w z w ) cos β tan φ
F=
(γ d z d + γ sat z w ) sin β

•φ’ = 0
•Su instead of c’
•Slope fully saturated (by capillary action) , z = zw

Su
F= sand
(γ sat z ) sin β z

Undrained failures in clay clay


tend to be rotational
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Shallow landslide susceptibility

(Hammond et al., 1992)

Program LISA (US Forest Service):

frequency
apply Infinite Slope Equation on an
areal basis, in a probabilistic
manner, map “probability of
failure” (or Factor of Safety)
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Influence of logging on slope stability


RELATIVE ROOT REINFORCEMENT

1
Root 0.9
0.8
cohesion 0.7
0.6
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0

0 5 10 15 20 25 30
YEARS AFTER LOGGING

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Subjective slope stability mapping

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(J. Ryder, Vancouver, 1998)

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Deep-seated landslides: Method of Slices

General method:
1) Work out the equilibrium of each slice
2) Calculate the equilibrium of the slice assembly
3) Results depend on assumptions regarding the
interslice forces E and X
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Available equations
1) Vertical equilibrium of a single slice (n equations)

W = N cos β + T sin β + ∇X
2) Mohr-Coulomb strength (n equations)

c' L tanφ'
T= + (N − uL) “Mobilized strength”
F F
3) Horizontal force equilibrium for the slice assembly (1 equation)

∑ N sin β − ∑ T cos β = 0
4) Moment equilibrium for the slice assembly Interslice forces cancel out
(1 equation) in these equations
∑Wr − ∑ Nr − ∑ Tr
w N T =0 r’s are radii of rotation
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Bishop’s Simplified Method:
Fredlund Krahn (1978) Modification for Non-circular surfaces

rN

Add moment of the normal forces


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Possible solutions
For n slices, we have the following unknowns:
n N forces + n T forces + n ∆X + n ∆E +1F =4n+1 unknowns

Bishop’s simplified method:


1) assume ∆X = 0 (no shear between slices)
2) use only Equations 1,2 and 4 (neglect horizontal force
equilibrium)→ ∆E not needed, problem determinate
3) Good for circular sliding surfaces, conservative for others
4) Not good if large horizontal external forces involved

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Janbu simplified method: More solutions
1) assume ∆X = 0 (no shear between slices)
2) use only Equations 1,2 and 3 (neglect moment equilibrium)
3) Good for shallow sliding surfaces, tends to be more conservative
than Bishop (correction needed)

Spencer’s method:
1) assume ∆X/∆E = constant (constant interslice friction)
2) Must add another equation (horizontal force equilibrium on each
slice). Use all five equations (“rigorous solution”)
3) Requires iterative solution, may not converge

Morgenstern-Price method:
1) assume ∆X/∆E varies according to a prescribed function
(“rigorous solution”)
2) Requires iterative solution, may not converge 17

Simplified and rigorous method comparison


120 120

100 Bishop: F = 1.00 100 Bishop: F = 1.00


Spencer: F = 1.22 Spencer: F = 1.03
ELEVATION (m)

ELEVATION (m)

80 80
STRONG
60 60

40 WEAK 40

20 20
WEAK
WEAK
0 0

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200
DISTANCE (m) DISTANCE (m)
120

100 Bishop: F = 1.00


Spencer: F = 1.31
→ Simplified method OK, if
ELEVATION (m)

80

60 slide head stronger than toe


40 WEAK
(classic compound slide) not
20 good if the opposite
STRONG
0

0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200


DISTANCE (m)
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Sarma method W

Force polygon

T φ/F
φi/F
N

1) Divide sliding body into blocks


2) Assume that a constant friction angle, φi/F will be mobilized on
all block interfaces
3) Solve graphically from first block to last. Will only work out for
one specific value of F (iterations)
4) Problem: can we justify the given value of internal friction?
Danger of non-conservative error! Good for structurally-
controlled slides in rock

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Limit Equilibrium Methods, Summary 1


Method Type Vertical Horizontal Moment Slices
Force Force Equilibrium
Equilibrium Equilibrium

Bishop Simplified Yes No Yes Vertical

Janbu Simplified Yes Yes No Vertical

Spencer Rigorous Yes Yes Yes Vertical

Morgenstern- Rigorous Yes Yes Yes Vertical


Price
Sarma Rigorous Yes Yes Yes Vertical
or
Inclined

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Limit Equilibrium Methods, Summary 2
Method Type Advantages Disadvantages
Bishop Simplified -very efficient -conservative with cases involving internal
-accurate for circular surfaces and distortion
some non-circular (with Fredlund- -can be incorrect with external horizontal
Krahn modification) loads (including earthquake loads)

Janbu Simplified -very efficient -usually more conservative than other


-good for shallow slides methods
-horizontal external loads are OK -requires correction factor
(includes horizontal force
equilibrium)

Spencer Rigorous -any geometry and loads -less efficient, may not converge
-often more conservative than MP

Morgenstern Rigorous -any geometry and loads -less efficient, may not converge
-Price -can simulate internal shearing -choice of interslice function required
-often cited as a benchmark

Sarma Rigorous - good for structured slides (esp. -less efficient, may not converge
rock) -the assumption of fully mobilized internal
friction could lead to incorrect (non-
conservative) results, if not justified (e.g.
in rotational slides)

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Search for the critical sliding surface

Automatic
“Simplex”
search

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Grid search

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Compound sliding surface (3D)

Weak surface

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Specified non-circular sliding surface

Toe
submergence

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Pore pressure conditions

fill

u = hγru u = hwγ w u = hwγ w + B h f γ f

ru= pore pressure ratio

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Strength reduction method
FLAC: “Fast Lagrangian Analysis of Continua”
2nd strength
reduction

1st “failure”

Displacement
strength
reduction

Calculation steps (time)

Strength reduction: Every strength reduction increases


displacements. Start with F=1, apply
cmob=c/F φmob = φ/F successively higher reduction in cycles,
until “failure” occurs.
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