Plasticity in Soil Mechanics and Landslides

by Wai F. Chen, (M.ASCE), Prof. of Struct. Engrg.; School of Civ. Engrg., Purdue Univ., West Lafayette, Ind.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Engineering Mechanics Division, 1980, Vol. 106, Issue 3, Pg. 443-464

Document Type: Journal Paper


This paper presents a summary of the current advances in the applications of the theory of plasticity in soil mechanics. A general discussion and historical development of the soil plasticity is followed by a detailed description of the three basic subjects: (1) Idealized stress-strain models for soil; (2) limit analysis for collapse load; and (3) finite-element analysis for progressive failure behavior of soil mass, with particular emphasis placed on such timely applications as seismic stability of slopes by limit analysis, and elastic-plastic large deformation analysis of slopes by finite element method. Some of the interrelationship between various plasticity models are demonstrated and their relative merits and limitations are evaluated within the context of their use in the numerical analysis of soil mass involving slope failures and landslides during earthquake loading.

Subject Headings: Soil analysis | Failure analysis | Finite element method | Elastic analysis | Plastic analysis | Soil deformation | Stress analysis | Plasticity

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