Stability Charts for 3D Failures of Steep Slopes Subjected to Seismic Excitation

by Radoslaw L. Michalowski, (corresponding author), (F.ASCE), Professor; Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, rlmich@umich.edu,
Tabetha Martel, (S.M.ASCE), Formerly, Graduate Research Assistant, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.,


Serial Information: Issue 2, Pg. 183-189


Document Type: Journal Paper

Abstract: Design of slopes and analysis of existing slopes subjected to seismic shaking are carried out routinely using approximations of plane strain and substitution of a quasi-static load for the seismic excitation. A three-dimensional (3D) analysis of slopes is carried out, based on the kinematic theorem of limit analysis. A rotational failure mechanism is used with the failure surface in the shape of a curvilinear cone sector passing through the slope toe, typical of steep slopes. A quasi-static approach is used to develop stability charts allowing assessment of the factor of safety of slopes without the need for an iterative procedure. The charts are of practical importance in cases of excavation slopes and whenever a slope is physically constrained, preventing a plane failure.

Subject Headings: Failure analysis | Slope stability | Seismic tests | Three-dimensional analysis | Excitation (physics) | Seismic effects | Seismic loads | Seismic design | Limit analysis |

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