Viscoelastic Response of Imperfect Surface Slab

by Theodore E. Lang, Prof. of Engrg. Mechanics; Dept. of Civ. Engrg., and Engrg. Mechanics, Montana State Univ., Bozeman, Mont.,
Robert L. Brown, Assoc. Prof. of Engrg. Mechanics; Dept. of Civ. Engrg. and Engrg. Mechanics, Univ. of Montana, Bozeman, Mont.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division, 1977, Vol. 103, Issue 2, Pg. 257-272

Document Type: Journal Paper


The problem of an infinite slope with a shear-free slope parallel imperfection zone is considered and analyzed to evaluate the stress and strain concentrations produced by this type of basal imperfection. By modeling the slope material as a compressible linear viscoelastic material, analytical solutions for steady-state stresses, strain rates, and strain energy loci are calculated and analyzed to study flow and failure patterns that the slope may acquire. The basal imperfection models a sloping snowpack with a weak basal layer that does not transmit shear stress to a portion of the foundation. Results obtained for this problem indicate that a frontal tensile zone exists for the self-propagation of the imperfection, and that nominal slope-parallel strain rates at the surface of the slope are not necessarily indicative of approaching slope instability. Loci of maximum volumetric and deviatoric strain energies are also calculated in order to identify failure surfaces for material fracture.

Subject Headings: Slopes | Stress analysis | Material failures | Failure analysis | Shear stress | Stress strain relations | Linear analysis | Strain rates

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