Dead Load Stresses and the Instability of Slopes

by L. E. Goodman,
C. B. Brown,

Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1963, Vol. 89, Issue 3, Pg. 103-136

Document Type: Journal Paper


The problem of dead load stresses in massive structures is analyzed by the methods of the linear theory of elasticity, taking into account the construction sequence involved in attaining the final shape. The theoretical questions concerning uniqueness, compatibility, and equilibrium are examined. In particular, the inability of the final body to satisfy compatibility is shown to be correct for incremental construction proceedings. An infinite wedge with horizontal top surface is considered as an example in which the building-up is in uniform horizontal layers. The solution is extended to take account of bands of different density materials with constant density in the band and constant elastic properties in all bands. These results are then applied to soil embankments for which the origin and direction of retrogressive slides are rationally predicted and, using a Coulomb-Bell strength criteria for the soil, potential slip surfaces for various values of Ϝ are described. Examples of stress distribution are worked out, and curves of slip surfaces and design curves of the instability of slopes are given.

Subject Headings: Elastic analysis | Material properties | Soil strength | Dead loads | Slopes | Stress analysis | Linear analysis | Construction methods

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