Stability Analysis of Embankments

by John Lowe, III,

Serial Information: Journal of the Soil Mechanics and Foundations Division, 1967, Vol. 93, Issue 4, Pg. 1-33

Document Type: Journal Paper


The state-of-the-art of stability analysis of embankments, levees and cut slopes is discussed under three main headings; analysis of the forces, determination of shear strength and choice of method of analysis and method of determination of shear strength to particular cases of embankment loading. Stability analysis by the limiting equilibrium methods of slices or sliding block are recommended for use at the present time. Reasons are given for including the earth forces on the sides of the slices in the analysis. The Q, R, and S types of shearing are described and four methods of expressing shear strength data are presented in terms of in situ location, total stresses, consolidation stresses, and effective stresses. The methods of analysis and the shear strength to use are given for the following cases of loading: construction, steady seepage, and rapid drawdown. The determination of excess pore pressure which develops in compressible core material upon rapid drawdown is discussed. Also the use of stability charts is indicated.

Subject Headings: Shear strength | Effective stress | Shear forces | Case studies | Load factors | Shear stress | Construction methods | Drawdown (hydrology)

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