Ester West Slide—A Case History

by Eric G. Johnson, Alaska Dep of Transportation &, Public Facilities, Anchorage, AK, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Cold Regions Engineering


An 80 foot high embankment was benched into graphitic schist permafrost on a north facing slope approximately 25 miles west of Fairbanks, Alaska. Soon after construction approximately 350 feet along centerline began to fail. Slope inclinometers were installed and indicated a sliding block type failure. A remolded, thawed triaxial test showed that the angle of internal friction of the graphitic schist was 35 degrees. A back-analysis of the slope inclinometer data calculated the apparent angle of internal friction along the failure plane to be 16 degrees. Based on the plot of horizontal movement versus time, it was suggested that the failure was due to creep of the graphitic schist permafrost.

Subject Headings: Case studies | Failure analysis | Soil analysis | Triaxial tests | Friction | Landslides | Permafrost | Construction management | Alaska | United States

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