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CHAPTER 10

Slope Stability

10.1 INTRODUCTION

Slope stability analyses investigate the equilibrium of a mass of soil bounded

below by an assumed slip surface and above by the surface of the slope as shown in

Fig.(10.1). Forces and moments tending to cause instability of the mass are compared

to those tending to resist instability. Successive assumptions are made regarding the

slip surface until the most critical surface (lowest factor of safety) is found. If the

shear resistance of the soil along the slip surface exceeds that necessary to provide

equilibrium, the mass is stable. Otherwise, it is unstable.

In general, slope stability is a two-dimensional 2D problem and can be analyzed

under plane strain conditions. Stability or instability of the soil mass depends on

several factors such as; its weight, the external forces acting on it (such as surcharges

or accelerations caused by dynamic loads), the shear strengths and pore water

pressures along the slip surface and the strength of any internal reinforcement

crossing the slip surfaces.

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Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

(1) Circular: this type of slip surface is almost useful for starting an analysis.

It is generally sufficient for analyzing relatively homogeneous

embankments or slopes and embankments on foundations with relatively

thick soil layers, (see Fig. 10.2a). So it is used in Ordinary Method of

Slices and Simplified Bishop Method.

(2) Wedge: this type of slip surface is appropriate for slopes where the critical

slip surface passes through a weak soil bounded by stronger soil, (see Fig.

10.2b).

(3) General Noncircular Shape: the term "general" refers to a slip surface

composed of number of linear segments which may each be of any length

and inclined at any angle, whereas, the term "noncircular" refers to such

general-shaped slip surfaces, (see Fig. 10.2c). Stability analyses based on

general slip surfaces are more common and useful for design check of

critical slip surfaces of traditional shapes (circular, wedge) or complicated

geometry and anisotropic soil shear strengths.

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Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

(a) Circular Slip Surfaces

Search schemes for circular arc slip surfaces are illustrated in Fig. (10.3). A

circular surface is defined by the position of the circle center and either: (i) the

radius, or (ii) a point through which the circle must pass (toe failure), or (iii) a

plane to which the slip surface must be tangent. Searches are usually

accomplished by trial and error until a minimum factor of safety is found. For

example, the location of the center point may be varied while the plane of

tangency is fixed, or the radius may be varied while the center point is fixed. The

first search variable is then fixed at a new value and the second variable is again

varied. This process is repeated until the minimum factor of safety

corresponding to both search variables is found.

Fig.(10.3a): Search with constant radius. Fig.(10.3b): Search with circles through

a common point.

3

Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

This type of slip surfaces requires searching for the critical location of the

central block and the critical inclination of the bases of active and passive

wedges. Searching for the critical location of the central block is illustrated in

Fig.(10.4a) and involves systematically varying of horizontal and vertical

coordinates of the two ends of the base of the central block until the central block

corresponding to the minimum factor of safety is found. The search schemes for

the critical inclination of the bases of wedges are shown in Fig.(10.4b). One

technique used, where soil properties and inclinations of the base of each wedge

vary in the zone of active and passive wedges, is to assume that the bottoms of

the wedges are inclined at = 'D/2. The value of is then varied until the

maximum interslice force is found for the active wedge and minimum interslice

force is found for the passive wedge. Another search technique used, where the

bases of active and passive wedges are considered to be single planes, is to vary

the value of until a maximum interslice force is obtained for the entire group

of active wedge segments and the minimum is found for the entire group of

passive wedge segments.

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Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

of points that are connected by straight lines as illustrated in Fig.(10.5). The

factor of safety is first calculated for the assumed slip surface. Next, all points

except one are held fixed, and the "floating" point is shifted a small distance in

horizontal or vertical direction. The factor of safety is recalculated for the slip

surface with each point shifted as described. This process is repeated for each

point on the slip surface. As any point is shifted, all other points are left at their

original location. Once all points have been shifted in both directions and the

factor of safety is computed for each shift, a new location is estimated for the slip

surface based on the computed factors of safety. The slip surface is then moved to

the estimated location and the process of shifting points is repeated. This process

is continued until no further reduction in factor of safety is noted.

(after Celistono and Duncan 1981).

In these methods, the factor of safety is calculated using one or more of the

static equilibrium equations applied to the soil mass bounded by an assumed potential

slip surface and the surface of the slope. In some methods, such as Infinite Slope

Method, the shear and normal stresses ( and ) are calculated directly from static

equilibrium equations and then used to compute the factor of safety. Whereas in other

methods; as Simplified Bishop, Corps of Engineers, Modified Swedish Method and

Spencers Method, the factor of safety is computed by repeatedly assuming values for

F and calculating the corresponding shear stress until equilibrium is achieved.

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Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

c + ( ).tan

F= .......(10.1)

where, c' and ' = effective shear strength parameters, = total normal stress

on the failure plane, u = pore water pressure; and ( u) is the effective normal

stress on the failure plane.

or

().tan

= + = + tan ...(10.2)

The unknowns and equations used in limit equilibrium methods are summarized

in Table (10.1), whereas, their limitations are listed in Table (10.2).

Factor of safety (F) 1

Normal forces on bottom of slices (N) N

Interslice normal forces, En1

Interslice shear forces, Xn1

Location of normal forces on base of slice N

Location of interslice normal forces n-1

TOTAL NUMBER OF UNKNOWNS 5n 2

Equilibrium of forces in the horizontal direction, Fx = 0 n

Equilibrium of forces in the vertical direction, Fy = 0 n

Equilibrium of moments n

TOTAL NUMBER OF EQUILIBRIUM EQUATIONS 3n

1. The factor of safety is assumed to be constant along the potential slip surface.

2. Stress-strain characteristics are not explicitly accounted for.

3. The initial stress distribution within the slope is not explicitly accounted for.

4. Unreasonably large and or negative normal forces may be calculated along the

base of slices under certain conditions.

5. Iterative, trial and error, solutions may not converge in certain cases.

(a) Assumptions: In this method, the forces on the sides of the slice are

neglected (balance each other), see Fig.(10.6). The normal force on the base of the

slice is calculated by summing forces in a direction perpendicular to the base of the

slice. Once the normal force is calculated, moments are summed about the center of

the circle to compute the factor of safety.

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Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

b. Slice for total stress analysis c. Slice for effective stress analysis

where, P = resultant water force acting perpendicular to the top of the slice,

= inclination of the top of the slice,

Mp = moment about the circle center due to the water force acting on top of

the slice,

R = radius of the circle.

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Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

For the slice and forces shown in Fig.(10.6), the factor of safety is computed as:

[ + ]

= ...(10.3)

[ + ( ) ]

= ......(10.4)

{ + [ + ( ) 2 ] }

= ..........(10.5)

where,

c' and = shear strength parameters for the center of the base of the slice,

W = weight of slice; calculated as in the following manner:

x

= Inclination of the base of the slice; measured or calculated as: sin1 (R)

u = Pore water pressure at the center of the base of the slice, and

l = Length of the bottom of the slice = b sec .

The components of Wcos and Wsin can also be determined graphically for

each slice.

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Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

The tabular forms for calculating factor of safety by ordinary method of slices

(Fellenius Method) are shown in Fig.(10.7).

tan

W (kN/m)

c (kN/m2)

Trial no.

Slice no.

(deg.)

(kN/m)

(kN/m)

(kN/m)

(kN/m)

h (m)

b (m)

tan

c.l

(1) (2) (3)

[ + ] (1) + (2)

Factor of safety, =

=

(3)

A series of trial failure surfaces must be selected to obtain the minimum safety factor.

tan

(kN/m)

(kN/m)

( u l )

(kN/m2)

W (kN/m)

. (kN/m)

l (kN/m)

(kN/m2)

Trial no.

Slice no.

(deg.)

(deg.)

( u l )

tan

(m)

[ + ( ) ] (1) + (2)

Factor of safety, =

=

(3)

Fig.(10.7): Tabular forms for calculating factor of safety by ordinary method of slices

(Fellenius Method).

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Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

As shown in Table (10.3), there is only one unknown (F) in the Ordinary Method of

Slices, and only one equilibrium equation is used.

Table (10.3): Unknowns and Equations for the Ordinary Method of Slices.

Unknowns Number of Unknowns for n Slices

TOTAL NUMBER OF UNKNOWNS 1

TOTAL NUMBER OF EQUILIBRIUM EQUATIONS 1

(1) The forces on the sides of the slice are neglected.

(2) Moment equilibrium is satisfied for the entire soil mass above the slip

surface, but not for individual slices.

(3) Factors of safety calculated by the OMS may differ 520% from values

calculated using rigorous methods. The error is generally on the safe side

(calculated factor of safety is too low). However, the degree to which the

OMS is conservative depends on the value of and whether the pore

pressures are large or small.

(4) The use of OMS (or Fellenius Method) is not now recommended in

practice.

(a) Assumptions: Applicable for analyses problems with circular slip surfaces.

In it, the interslice forces are horizontal as shown in Fig.(10.8). Forces are summed in

the vertical direction. The resulting equilibrium equation is combined with the Mohr-

Coulomb equation and the definition of the factor of safety to determine the forces on

the base of the slice. Finally, moments are summed about the center of the circular

slip surface to obtain the following expressions for safety factor:

(i) Factor of safety for slope (without seepage or external water loads on a slope)

Total Stress Analysis:

+

[ ]

= .........(10.6)

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Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

(ii) Factor of safety for slope (with seepage or external water loads on a slope)

Effective Stress Analysis:

+(+ )

[ ]

= .......(10.7)

where, all the terms W, c', ', u, P, MP , R are as defined earlier for the OMS and

is defined by:

tan

= + ............(10.8)

Factors of safety calculated from Eqs. (10.6 and 10.7) satisfy equilibrium of forces

in the vertical direction and overall equilibrium of moments about the center of a

circle. Because the value of the term depends on the factor of safety, it appears on

both sides of Eqs. (10.6 and 10.7). Thus, an iterative, trial and error procedure is used

to solve for the factor of safety. The unknowns and equations in the Simplified

Bishop Method are summarized in Table (10.4).

Normal forces on bottom of slices (N) n

Equilibrium of moments of the entire soil mass 1

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Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

Horizontal equilibrium of forces is not satisfied and therefore, it is not suitable

for pseudo-static earthquake analyses.

(1) It is an acceptable method of calculating factors of safety for circular slip

surfaces.

(2) Safety factors calculated by Simplified Bishop Method compare well with

factors of safety calculated using rigorous methods, usually within 5 %.

(3) The procedure is relatively simple compared to more rigorous solutions,

computer solutions execute rapidly, and hand calculations are not very

time-consuming,

(4) Where major structures are designed using the Simplified Bishop Method,

the final design should be checked using Spencers Method.

(i) Slope without seepage or external water loads -Total Stress Analysis:

Once a trial slip surface has been selected, and the soil mass is subdivided into

slices, the following steps are used to compute a factor of safety:

( 1) Determine the width, b, average height, havg. , and inclination, , of the bottom

of each slice (Columns 2, 3, and 6 in Fig.(10.9c)). The sign convention used

for the inclination is shown in Fig.(10.9b). The inclination is positive when

the base of the slice is inclined in the same direction as the slope.

(2) Calculate the area, A, of each slice, i.e., A = b havg. (Column 4 in

Fig.(10.9c)).

(3) Calculate the weight of each slice, W = A. If the slice crosses zones

having different unit weights, the slice is subdivided vertically into subareas,

and the weights of the subareas are summed to compute the total slice weight

(Column 5 in Fig.(10.9c)).

(4) Compute (W sin ) for each slice and then ( W sin ) for all slices

(Column 7 in Fig.(10.9c)).

(5) Enter the shear strength parameters; the cohesion, c and friction angle, for

each slice in (Columns 8 and 9 in Fig.(10.9c)).

(6) Compute the quantity: (c.b + W tan) for each slice (Column 10 in

Fig.(10.9c)).

(7) Assume a trial value for safety factor and compute: = +

tan

(Column 11 in Fig.(10.9c)).

. + tan

(8) Compute ( ) for all slices (Column 12 in Fig.(10.9c)).

(9) Compute a new factor of safety from:

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Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

. + tan

( )

F= ..........(10.9)

This corresponds to dividing summation of Column 12 by summation of

Column 7 in Fig.(10.9c).

(10) Additional trial values are assumed for safety factor and Steps 79 are

repeated (Cols. 13 16 in Fig.(10.9c)). For each trial value assumed safety

factor, the assumed and computed values for the factor of safety are plotted as

shown in Fig.(10.9d) which serves as a guide for selecting additional trial

values. Values are assumed and new values are calculated until the assumed

and calculated values for the factor of safety are essentially the same, i.e.,

until the assumed and calculated values fall close to the broken 45degree

line shown in Fig.(10.9d).

a. Slope and trial slip surface with slices. Left facing slope

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Numerator (Col.10 + Col.11)

Average Height (.)

Horizontal Width (b)

Base Inclination ()

Friction Angle ()

M (Trial F1 )

M (Trial F2 )

M (Trial F3 )

C b + W tan

Cohesion (c)

Weight (W)

Area (A)

W sin

Slice

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

1 2 3

values for factor of safety.

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Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

(ii) Slope with seepage or external water loads - Effective Stress Analysis:

(1) Determine the width, b, average height, havg. , and inclination, , of the bottom

of each slice (Columns 2, 3, and 6 in (Fig.10.10c)). The sign convention used

for the inclination is shown in Fig.(10.9b). The inclination is positive when

the base of the slice is inclined in the same direction as the slope

(Fig.10.10c)).

(3) Compute the weight of each slice, W = A. If the slice crosses zones

having different unit weights, the slice is subdivided vertically into subareas,

and the weights of the subareas are summed to compute the total slice weight

(Column 5 in (Fig.10.10c)).

(4) Compute (W sin ), for each slice, and then ( W sin ) for all slices

(Column 7 in (Fig.10.10c)).

(5) Determine the height, hs , of water above the slice at the midpoint of the top of

the slice (Column 8 in (Fig.10.10c)).

(6) Calculate the average water pressure on the top of the slice; Psurface = .

(Column 9 in (Fig.10.10c)).

(Fig.10.10c)). is positive, except when the inclination of the top of the slice

is opposite to the inclination of the slope. Negative values of will exist

when the inclination of the slope is reversed over some distance.

(8) Compute the external water force, P , on the top of the slice by multiplying

the length of the top of the slice times the average surface pressure P surface;

P = Psurface / . (Column 11 in (Fig.10.10c)).

(9) Determine the horizontal and vertical, d h and dv , respectively, between the

center of the circle and the points on the top of each slice (Columns 12 and

13 in (Fig.10.10c)). Positive values for these distances are illustrated in

Fig.(10.10b). Loads acting at points located upslope of the center of the circle

(to the left of the center in the case of the right-facing slope shown in

Fig.(10.10) represent negative values for the distance, dh.

(10) Compute the moment, , the result of external water loads (Columns 14 in

(Fig.10.10c)) from: = cos + sin

The moment is considered positive when it acts opposite to the direction of

the driving moment produced by the weight of the slide mass, i.e., positive

moments tend to make the slope more stable. Positive moments are clockwise

for a right-facing slope like the one shown in Fig.(10.10).

(11) Determine the piezometric height, hp, at the center of the base of each slice

(Column 15 in Fig.(10.10c)). The piezometric height represents the pressure

head for pore water pressures on the base of the slice.

14

Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

complex seepage conditions, it may be more convenient to determine the pore

water pressure directly, rather than evaluating the piezometric head and

converting to pore pressure. In such cases Step 11 is omitted, and the pore

water pressures are entered in Column 16.

(13) Enter the cohesion, , and friction angle, , for each slice in (Columns 17

and 18 in (Fig.10.10c)). The shear strength parameters are those for the soil

at the bottom of the slice; they do not depend on the soils in the upper

portions of the slice.

.b + (W + cos . ) tan for each slice (Column 19 in

(Fig.10.10c)).

(15) Assume a trial value for safety factor F1 and compute the quantity:

= + (Column 11 in (Fig.10.10c)).

1

.b + (W + cos .) tan

(16) Compute: ( ) for all slices (Column 21 in

(Fig.10.10c)).

.b + (W + cos .) tan

( )

= 1 ..........(10.10)

(Fig.10.10c) are used to compute the new value for the factor of safety.

(18) Additional trial values are assumed for the factor of safety and steps 14

through 16 are repeated (Columns 22 through 25 in Fig.(10.10c)). For each

trial value, the assumed and calculated values of the factor of safety are

plotted as shown in Fig.(10.10d), to provide a guide for selecting additional

trial values. Values are assumed and new values are calculated until the

assumed and calculated values for the factor of safety are essentially equal,

i.e., until the assumed and calculated values fall close enough to the broken

45degree line shown in Fig.(10.10d).

15

1

8

7

6

5

4

3

2

1

Slice

2

Horizontal width (b)

3

Average Height (.)

4

Area (A)

5

Weight (W)

Base Inclination ()

7

W sin

Soil Mechanics

8

Height of Surface Water (hs)

9

Avg. Surface Pressure (Psurface)

10

Surface Inclination ()

11

Surface Load (P)

12

Surface Loads

Horizontal Moment Arm (dh)

a. Slope and trial slip surface with slices.

13

MP

Vertical Moment Arm (dv)

16

14

Moment ( )

15

16

17

Cohesion

18

Friction Angle

19

b + (W + P cos ) tan

20

1

M (Trial F1 )

21

22

2

M (Trial F2 )

23

Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

24

b. Surface load and moment arms for slice.

3

M (Trial F3 )

25

Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

(a) Assumptions: this method assumes that the side forces are parallel, i.e., all

side forces are inclined at the same angle, and the normal forces on the base of the

slice act at its center. The unknowns and equations involved in the method are listed

in Table (10.5).

Spencers method fully satisfies the requirements for both force and moment

equilibrium. The method is originally presented for circular slip surfaces, however, it

can be extended for analyses of noncircular slip surfaces. The method involves an

iterative, trial and error procedure in which values for the factor of safety (F) and side

force inclination () are assumed repeatedly until all conditions of force and moment

equilibrium are satisfied for each slice.

Inclination of interslice forces () 1

Normal forces on bottom of slices (N) n

Resultant interslice forces, Z n1

Location of interslice normal forces n1

Equilibrium of forces in the vertical direction, = 0 n

Equilibrium of moments n

calculations. Because moment and force equilibrium must be satisfied for every slice

and the calculations are repeated for a number of assumed trial factors of safety and

interslice force inclinations, complete and independent hand-checking of a solution

using Spencers method is impractical.

statically complete solution is desired, and as a check on final designs where the

slope stability computations were performed by simpler methods.

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Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

This method is used extensively by the Corps of Engineers for slip surfaces of

any shape. It is the same as Bishops method regardless of shape of the slip surfaces.

(a) Assumptions: this method only satisfies force equilibrium and not

moment equilibrium. All force equilibrium methods are based on assuming the

inclinations () of the forces between slices (Fig.10.11). The unknowns and equations

involved in the method are summarized in Table (10.6).

a. Slope and typical slip surface. b. Typical slice forces without water.

Unknowns Number of Unknowns for n Slices

Normal forces on bottom of slices (N) n

Resultant interslice forces, Z n1

Equilibrium of forces in the vertical direction, = 0 n

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Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

effective stresses, however, total interslice forces are always used. Therefore,

when the Modified Swedish Method is used to check calculations made using

Spencers Method, it is logical that the interslice forces should be total forces.

assumed that the interslice forces are horizontal in the Modified Swedish

Method. This assumption is referred to as the Simplified Janbu Method.

However, it may significantly underestimate the value of safety factor.

Therefore, correction factors are sometimes applied to the factor of safety

calculated value by the Simplified Janbu Method.

Lowe and Karafiath (1960) suggested that the interslice forces are inclined at

an angle that is the average inclinations of the ground surface slope and

surface shear at each vertical interslice boundary. With Lowe and Karafiaths

assumption the interslice force inclinations vary from slice to slice and

produces factors of safety that are usually within 10% of those values

calculated by procedures which satisfy complete static equilibrium.

(i) Slope without seepage or external water loads -Total Stress Analysis:

Once a trial slip surface has been selected and the soil mass has been

subdivided into slices, the following steps are used to compute a factor of safety.

Slices are numbered beginning with the uppermost slice and proceeding toward

the toe of the slope.

(1) Determine the width, b, average height, havg., and base inclination, ,

(Columns 2, 3 and 6 in Fig.(10.12b)).

(2) Compute the area of each slice: A = b havg. (Column 4 in Fig.(10.12b)).

(3) Compute the weight, W, of the slice by multiplying the area of the slice by

the total unit weight of soil: W = A (Column 5 in Fig.(10.12b)). If the slice

crosses zones having different unit weights, the slice is subdivided vertically

into subareas, and the weights of the subareas are summed to compute the

total slice weight

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Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

represent force imbalance.

trial factor of safety.

(4) Determine the length of the bottom of each slice from: l = b/cos (Column

7 in Fig.(10.12b)).

(5) Determine the cohesion value, c, and friction angle, , for the base of each

slice (Columns 8 and 9 in Fig.(10.12b)). The shear strength parameters are

those for the soil at the bottom of the slice; they do not depend on the soils in

the upper portions of the slice.

(6) Determine the inclination, , of the interslice forces. If the computations are

being performed to check an analysis performed using Spencers Method, the

interslice force inclination determined from Spencers Method should be used.

Otherwise, the interslice force inclination should be assumed in accordance

with the guidelines discussed before.

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Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

(8) Compute the side force, Zi+1, of each slice, beginning with the first slice from

left of the slope using :

.

[

]

+1 = + () .....(10.11)

() +

(9) If the force computed for the last slice, Zi+1, is not sufficiently close to zero, a

new trial value is assumed for the factor of safety and the process is repeated.

By plotting the force imbalance, Zi+1, for the last slice versus the factor of

safety, the value of the factor of safety that satisfies equilibrium can be found

with acceptable degree of accuracy in about three trials, Fig.(10.12c).

(ii). Slope with seepage or external water loads -Effective Stress Analysis:

(1) For each slice, determine the width, b, average height, havg. , and base

inclination, , (Columns 2, 3, and 6 in Fig.(10.13b)).

(2) Compute the area of each slice: A = b. havg (Column 4 in Fig.(10.13b)).

(3) Compute the weight, W, of the slice: W = . A (Column 5 in Fig.(10.13b)). If

the slice crosses zones having different unit weights, the slice is subdivided

vertically into subareas, and the weights of the subareas are summed to

compute the total slice weight

(4) Determine the piezometric heights at upslope boundary, center and downslope

boundary of each slice (Columns 7, 8, and 9 in Fig.(10.13b)). The piezometric

height at the upslope and downslope boundaries of the slice, hi and hi+1,

respectively, are used to compute the forces from water pressures on the sides

of the slice. Here, a triangular hydrostatic distribution of pressures is assumed

on the sides of the slice. If the distribution of water pressures is more

complex, it may be necessary to compute the water forces differently from

what is shown in Fig.(10.13). Assuming triangular distributions of water

pressures provides sufficient accuracy for most analyses. The piezometric

height at the center of the slice, hp , represents the pressure head for pore

water pressures at the base of the slice (Column 8 in Fig.(10.13b)).

(5) Compute the hydrostatic forces developed from water pressures on the sides

of each slice using the following equations (Columns 10 and 11 in

Fig.(10.13b)):

21

Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

1

= 2 ......(10.12)

2

2 1

+1 = +1 .......(10.13)

2

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24

Piezometric

Surface Load

Water Down slope Side Force (+ )

Height

Pressure at Top of Slice (.)

Water Upslope Side Force ()

Slope at Top of Slice ()

Down slope Side (+ )

Average Height (.)

Horizontal width (b)

Base Inclination ()

Base Inclination ()

Up slope Side ( )

Friction Angle

+ (Trial F3 )

+ (Trial F1)

+ (Trial F2)

Cohesion

Center (hp)

Weight (W)

Area (A)

Slice

1

2

3

4

5

6

b. Table used to compute factor of safety. represent force imbalance.

Fig.(10.13) Modified Swedish Method with water effective stress analysis.

22

Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

(6) Determine the average height of water, hs , above the top of each slice

(Column 12 in Fig.(10.13b)). The height is used to compute the average

water pressure and eventually the total force on the top of the slice (see

Columns 13 and 16 in Fig.(10.13b)). It is best to select the interslice

boundaries so that a boundary is located at the point where the surface of the

water outside the slope meets the slope. If this is done, the water pressures

will vary linearly across each slice, and the average height of water is equal

to the height of water above the midpoint of the slice.

(7) Compute the average water pressure on top of each slice: pavg. = hs

(Column 13 in Fig.(10.13b)).

(8) Determine the inclination of the top of the slice, (Column 14 in

Fig.(10.13b)). This is the same as the inclination of the slope above the slice.

(9) Determine the length of the top of the slice: ltop = b/cos (Column 15 in

Fig.(10.13b)).

(10) Compute the water load on the top of the slice: Ptop = Pavg. . ltop (Col.16 in

Fig.(10.13b)).

(11) Compute the length of the base of the slice, = b/cos (Col.18 in

Fig.(10.13b)).

(12) Compute the pore water pressure by multiplying the piezometric head at the

center of the base of the slice by the unit weight of water: u = (Col.19

in Fig.(10.13b)). For complex seepage conditions, or where a seepage

analysis has been conducted using numerical methods, it is more convenient

to determine the pore water pressure directly, rather than evaluating the

piezometric head and converting to pore pressure. In such cases, the pore

water pressures are entered in Column19.

(13) Determine the cohesion and friction angle for each slice depending on soil at

bottom of the slice (Cols. 20 and 21 in Fig.(10.13b)). The shear strength

parameters, c' and ', are those for soil at bottom of the slice and do not

depend on soils located in the upper portions of the slice.

(14) Determine the inclination, , of the interslice forces. If the computations are

being performed to check an analysis performed using Spencers Method,

the interslice force inclination determined from Spencers Method should be

used. Otherwise, the interslice force inclination should be assumed in

accordance with the guidelines discussed before.

23

Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

(15) Assume a trial value for the factor of safety, and calculate the interslice

forces are, slice by slice, to determine the force imbalance or error of

closure. The steps for this portion of the computations are the same as those

described for analyses with no water pressures, except the following

equation for interslice forces is used:

+1 = +

[ ]+( +1 )[ + ]+[sin() cos()]( tan )

()

() +

...(10.14)

(16) If the force computed for the last slice, Zi+1 , is not sufficiently close to zero,

a new trial value is assumed for the factor of safety and the process is

repeated. By plotting the force imbalance, Zi+1 , for the last slice versus the

factor of safety, the value of the factor of safety that satisfies equilibrium can

usually be found to an acceptable degree of accuracy in about three trials

(Fig.(10.13c)).

(a) Assumptions: This method assumes that the sliding mass is composed of

three regions as shown in Fig.(10.14): the active wedge, the central block, and the

passive wedge. The inclination of the forces on the vertical boundaries between the

zones is assumed. The wedge method is actually a special case of the force

equilibrium procedure; it fully satisfies equilibrium of forces in the vertical and

horizontal directions and ignores moment equilibrium. The only differences between

the Wedge Method and the Modified Swedish Method are: (1) the assumptions for

the shape of the potential sliding surface, and (2) possibly, the inclinations of the

interslice forces between wedges. In the Wedge Method, the interslice force

inclination assumption is often made the same as for the Modified Swedish Method.

However, the interslice force between the central block and the passive wedge is

sometimes assumed to be horizontal.

24

Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

(b) Limitations: The wedge method has the same limitations as other force

equilibrium procedures.

Spencers solutions for three-part noncircular shear surfaces. The side force

inclination is taken as the same side force inclination found in Spencers. Also can be

used where existing slopes have been designed using the method and are being

analyzed for new conditions, such as updated pore pressure information, or where

alterations are to be made.

25

Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

(a) Assumptions: The Infinite Slope Method assumes that the slope is of

infinite lateral extent and that sliding occurs along a plane surface parallel to the face

of the slope (Fig.(10.15)). For slopes composed of uniform cohesionless soils (c' = 0),

the critical slip surface will be parallel to the outer slope at small depth (z 0). The

Infinite Slope Method is a special case of force equilibrium procedure, with only one

slice. In which, two equations are available (horizontal and vertical force

equilibrium), and two unknowns must be evaluated (the factor of safety and the

normal force on the base of the slice). Thus, the method is statically determinate.

b

+

= normal stress at the base.

= shearing stress.

Fig.(10.15): Infinite slope.

Dry Cohesionless Soils

For infinite slopes, = +1 . Referring to Fig.(10.15), in terms of total stresses,

the total normal and shear stresses on plane parallel to the slope at a vertical depth, z,

are given by:

= 2 .........(10.15)

and

= ...........(10.16)

The factor of safety for shear strengths in dry cohesionless soil (no pore water

pressure, u = 0 and zero cohesion, c = 0) is given by:

== ..........(10.17)

26

Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

Substituting the expressions for and from Eqs. (10.15 and 10.16) into Eq.(10.17),

gives:

= .............(10.18)

Eq.(10.18) shows that the factor of safety (FOS) for infinite slopes in dry cohesionless

soils is not dependent on: height of the slope, depth to the sliding plane, and the unit

weight of soil. Therefore, the FOS of a submerged cohesionless soil slope will be the

same as that for a dry slope.

The factor of safety for shear strengths expressed in terms of effective stresses and

zero cohesion (c' = 0) is given by:

( )

== .........(10.19)

where, u is the pore water pressure at the depth of the shear plane.

Letting ru = u/z and substituting the expressions of and from Eqs. (10.15 and

10.16) into Eq.(10.19) gives:

(2 )

== .................(10.20)

or

= [1 ] ......(10.21)

2

horizontal seepage and the free surface of seepage at the ground surface is

expressed as:

For this case as shown in Fig.(10.16a): = = . Substituting this value of

2

= .............(10.22)

27

Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

seepage parallel to the slope is expressed as:

2

For this case as shown in Fig.(10.16b): = = . Substituting this

= .........(10.23)

Flow lines

Equipotential lines

a. Horizontal seepage.

Flow lines

Equipotential lines

28

Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

Total Stress Analysis for Short Term-Stability (no pore water pressure):

Referring to Fig.(10.17a): = and = . By the definition of

F.O.S.:

+

= ...........(10.24)

sec + tan

= ........(10.25)

= + ...........(10.26)

Depth to the failure surface was arbitrarily selected, therefore, the actual F.O.S. is

given by:

=( + ) ........(10.27)

.

For equilibrium, = and = . By the definition of F.O.S.:

+

= ..........(10.28)

+ ( )

= .....(10.29)

+ ( )

= ......(10.30)

= + (1 2 ) .......(10.31)

w

a. Total stress analysis. b. Effective stress analysis.

29

Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

The comparison of limit equilibrium methods features are summarized in

Table (10.7). The table is helpful in selecting a suitable method for analysis (e.g.;

Spencers method is favored for detailed evaluation of final designs. Spencers and

Modified Swedish can be used to analyze noncircular slip surfaces. The Ordinary

Method of Slices, the Simplified Bishop, the Modified Swedish, and the Wedge

method can be used without the aid of a computer and are therefore convenient for

independently checking results obtained using computer programs. Also, when these

latter methods are implemented in software, they execute extremely fast and are

useful where very large numbers of trial slip surfaces are to be analyzed).

Ordinary

Simplified Modified Infinite

Feature Method Spencer Wedge

Bishop Swedish Slope

of Slices

Accuracy X X X

Plane slip surfaces parallel to

X

slope face

Circular slip surfaces X X X X

Wedge failure mechanism X X X

Non-circular slip surfaces any

X X

shape

Suitable for hand calculations X X X X X

30

Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

Fig.(10.18) shows Taylors chart for cohesive soils under undrained condition

( = 0). For slope of given inclination to determine F.O.S. of a given height, first

from known values of and read the stability number Ns from the chart. Then,

determine the developed cohesion and calculate the factor of safety from the

following equation:

F.S.c = ...................(10.32)

where,

Ns = Stability number = (c / H F),

c = Cohesion of soil,

= Unit weight of soil,

H = Height of slope, and DH

cd = Developed cohesion.

Notes :

circles will be base circles.

circles will be toe circles expected

irrespective of and nH values.

3. For submerged slope:

(a) Under steady seepage condition: Use for calculating Ns.

(b) Under sudden drawdown condition: Use sat for calculating Ns and the

angle of internal friction as :(Given ).

sat

31

Soil Mechanics Assist. Prof. Dr. Rafi' M. S.

Taylors chart for infinite c soils is shown in the Fig.(10.19). The chart assumes

circular failure surfaces, soil strength given by the Mohr-Coulomb criterion and ignore

the possibility of tension cracks.

For slope of given height to determine the steepest inclination, first determine

Ns from the chart in Fig.(10.19) and then read the value of for a given . In this case

when > 0 ; Ns = f(, ). Taylor charts require trial and error calculation until

balanced safety factor is found, i.e., Fc = F

= ; and = ................(10.33)

Stability Number (Ns = c / )

(after Taylor, 1937).

32

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