Application of Spencer's Method for Slope Stability Analysis

by Djan Chandra, Leighton and Associates Inc, Diamond Bar, United States,
Clarence Jiang, Leighton and Associates Inc, Diamond Bar, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Computing in Civil and Building Engineering


For slope stability analysis with general, arbitrarily shaped failure surfaces, the Spencer's method has been found to provide a reasonably accurate result. This method satisfies both moment and force equilibrium of the sliding mass. However, a number of iterations are required to obtain an accurate value of factor of safety satisfying the complete equilibrium. In addition, problems of nonconvergence often occur when a search is required to determine the shape of the failure surfaces. Such search was found to be necessary to obtain the lowest factor of safety. A good approach for this type of analysis is to perform the search using a less elaborate method and utilize a more accurate but time consuming method once the critical failure surface is obtained. To implement this approach a subroutine is included in the computer program PCSTABL5M which enables it to search for the most critical surface using the Simplified Janbu method and, subsequently, analyze it with the Spencer's method. In addition, the Ordinary Method of Slices is added for backcut analysis since the Spencer's method was found to yield unreasonable results for this type of analysis. The computer program has been used extensively for a hillside grading project which involved the mitigation of complex landslides and faulting system.

Subject Headings: Failure analysis | Slope stability | Safety | Computer analysis | Computer models | Equilibrium | Slopes | Landslides

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