Probability Applied to Slope Design—Case Histories

by H. A. D. Kirsten, Steffen Robertson & Kirsten, Johannesburg, South Africa,
A. S. E. Moss, Steffen Robertson & Kirsten, Johannesburg, South Africa,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Rock Masses: Modeling of Underground Openings/Probability of Slope Failure/Fracture of Intact Rock


A major problem encountered with the choice of an appropriate value for the design probability. Initial experience, obtained during open-pit investigation, suggested that slope geometry could be evaluated principally on economic grounds. That is the cost of failure, determined from the expected quantity and volume of individual failures, versus the cost of slope flattening would be the governing design criteria. As mining is a risk industry, this approach is acceptable. Civil projects, however, often involve the general public and design using economic risk criteria only is not appropriate. Alternative criteria for assigning values to the design probability were therefore developed. These took into account the purpose of the slope and consequence of failure, and were based on statistics quoted by the insurance industry, practice in structural engineering and historical data.

Subject Headings: Probability | Slopes | History | Risk management | Failure analysis | Economic factors | Case studies | Industries

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