American Society of Civil Engineers


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 E-mail: rlmich@umich.edu) and Tabetha Martel, S.M.ASCE; formerly, Graduate Research Assistant, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Univ. of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109.

Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering, Vol. 137, No. 2, February 2011, pp. 183-189, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)GT.1943-5606.0000412)

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Document type: Technical Note
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.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Slope stability
Seismic effects
Limit states
Three-dimensional analysis
Failures

Author Keywords:
Slopes
Stability
Seismic analysis
Limit state analysis
3D analysis
Failure