Development of Failure around Excavated Slopes

by Peter Dunlop, (A.M.ASCE), Soil Engr.; H. G. Acres & Co. Ltd., Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada,
James M. Duncan, (A.M.ASCE), Asst. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1970, Vol. 96, Issue 2, Pg. 471-493

Document Type: Journal Paper


Nonlinear analyses of the stresses around slopes excavated in clay, performed using the finite element method, have been used to determine where failure begins and how the failure zone enlarges as excavation continues. The stress-strain and strength characteristics are represented in the analyses by means of stress-strain curves consisting of two straight lines, and the analyses are conducted in a series of increments simulating successive stages of excavation. The results show that the location of the first failure and the manner in which the failure zone enlarges depends on the initial stress conditions before excavation and the manner in which the shear strength of the clay varies with depth. The analyses indicate that the development of failure around slopes excavated in overconsolidated clay is considerably different from the development of failure around slopes in normally consolidated clay.

Subject Headings: Failure analysis | Soil analysis | Excavation | Stress analysis | Stress strain relations | Clays | Finite element method | Slopes

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