Open Science Research Excellence

Open Science Index

Commenced in January 2007 Frequency: Monthly Edition: International Paper Count: 13

Effect of Moisture Content Compaction in the Geometry Definition of Earth Dams

This paper presents numerical flow and slope stability simulations in three typical sections of earth dams built in tropical regions, two homogeneous with different slope inclinations, and the other one heterogeneous with impermeable core. The geotechnical material parameters used in this work were obtained from a lab testing of physical characterization, compaction, consolidation, variable load permeability and saturated triaxial type CD for compacted soil samples with standard proctor energy at optimum moisture content (23%), optimum moisture content + 2% and optimum moisture content +5%. The objective is to analyze the general behavior of earth dams built in rainy regions where optimum moisture is exceeded. The factor of safety is satisfactory for the three sections compacted in all moisture content during the stages of operation and end of construction. On The other hand, the rapid drawdown condition is the critical phase for homogeneus dams configuration, the factor of safety obtained were unsatisfactory. In general, the heterogeneous dam behavior is more efficient due to the fact that the slopes are made up of gravel, which favors the dissipation of pore pressures during the rapid drawdown. For the critical phase, the slopes should have lower inclinations of the upstream and downstream slopes to guarantee stability, although it increases the costs.

Investigation of Slope Stability in Gravel Soils in Unsaturated State

In this paper, we consider the stability of a slope of 10 meters in silty gravel soils with modeling in the Geostudio Software.  we intend to use the parameters of the volumetric water content and suction dependent permeability and provides relationships and graphs using the parameters obtained from gradation tests and Atterberg’s limits. Also, different conditions of the soil will be investigated, including: checking the factor of safety and deformation rates and pore water pressure in drained, non-drained and unsaturated conditions, as well as the effect of reducing the water level on other parameters. For this purpose, it is assumed that the groundwater level is at a depth of 2 meters from the ground.  Then, with decreasing water level, the safety factor of slope stability was investigated and it was observed that with decreasing water level, the safety factor increased.

Seismic Performance of Slopes Subjected to Earthquake Mainshock Aftershock Sequences

It is commonly observed that aftershocks follow the mainshock. Aftershocks continue over a period of time with a decreasing frequency and typically there is not sufficient time for repair and retrofit between a mainshock–aftershock sequence. Usually, aftershocks are smaller in magnitude; however, aftershock ground motion characteristics such as the intensity and duration can be greater than the mainshock due to the changes in the earthquake mechanism and location with respect to the site. The seismic performance of slopes is typically evaluated based on the sliding displacement predicted to occur along a critical sliding surface. Various empirical models are available that predict sliding displacement as a function of seismic loading parameters, ground motion parameters, and site parameters but these models do not include the aftershocks. The seismic risks associated with the post-mainshock slopes ('damaged slopes') subjected to aftershocks is significant. This paper extends the empirical sliding displacement models for flexible slopes subjected to earthquake mainshock-aftershock sequences (a multi hazard approach). A dataset was developed using 144 pairs of as-recorded mainshock-aftershock sequences using the Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) database. The results reveal that the combination of mainshock and aftershock increases the seismic demand on slopes relative to the mainshock alone; thus, seismic risks are underestimated if aftershocks are neglected.

Considerations for Effectively Using Probability of Failure as a Means of Slope Design Appraisal for Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Rock Masses

Probability of failure (PF) often appears alongside factor of safety (FS) in design acceptance criteria for rock slope, underground excavation and open pit mine designs. However, the design acceptance criteria generally provide no guidance relating to how PF should be calculated for homogeneous and heterogeneous rock masses, or what qualifies a ‘reasonable’ PF assessment for a given slope design. Observational and kinematic methods were widely used in the 1990s until advances in computing permitted the routine use of numerical modelling. In the 2000s and early 2010s, PF in numerical models was generally calculated using the point estimate method. More recently, some limit equilibrium analysis software offer statistical parameter inputs along with Monte-Carlo or Latin-Hypercube sampling methods to automatically calculate PF. Factors including rock type and density, weathering and alteration, intact rock strength, rock mass quality and shear strength, the location and orientation of geologic structure, shear strength of geologic structure and groundwater pore pressure influence the stability of rock slopes. Significant engineering and geological judgment, interpretation and data interpolation is usually applied in determining these factors and amalgamating them into a geotechnical model which can then be analysed. Most factors are estimated ‘approximately’ or with allowances for some variability rather than ‘exactly’. When it comes to numerical modelling, some of these factors are then treated deterministically (i.e. as exact values), while others have probabilistic inputs based on the user’s discretion and understanding of the problem being analysed. This paper discusses the importance of understanding the key aspects of slope design for homogeneous and heterogeneous rock masses and how they can be translated into reasonable PF assessments where the data permits. A case study from a large open pit gold mine in a complex geological setting in Western Australia is presented to illustrate how PF can be calculated using different methods and obtain markedly different results. Ultimately sound engineering judgement and logic is often required to decipher the true meaning and significance (if any) of some PF results.

Numerical Modelling of Shear Zone and Its Implications on Slope Instability at Letšeng Diamond Open Pit Mine, Lesotho

Rock mass damage due to shear tectonic activity has been investigated largely in geoscience where fluid transport is of major interest. However, little has been studied on the effect of shear zones on rock mass behavior and its impact on stability of rock slopes. At Letšeng Diamonds open pit mine in Lesotho, the shear zone composed of sheared kimberlite material, calcite and altered basalt is forming part of the haul ramp into the main pit cut 3. The alarming rate at which the shear zone is deteriorating has triggered concerns about both local and global stability of pit the walls. This study presents the numerical modelling of the open pit slope affected by shear zone at Letšeng Diamond Mine (LDM). Analysis of the slope involved development of the slope model by using a two-dimensional finite element code RS2. Interfaces between shear zone and host rock were represented by special joint elements incorporated in the finite element code. The analysis of structural geological mapping data provided a good platform to understand the joint network. Major joints including shear zone were incorporated into the model for simulation. This approach proved successful by demonstrating that continuum modelling can be used to evaluate evolution of stresses, strain, plastic yielding and failure mechanisms that are consistent with field observations. Structural control due to geological shear zone structure proved to be important in its location, size and orientation. Furthermore, the model analyzed slope deformation and sliding possibility along shear zone interfaces. This type of approach can predict shear zone deformation and failure mechanism, hence mitigation strategies can be deployed for safety of human lives and property within mine pits.

Comparison between Deterministic and Probabilistic Stability Analysis, Featuring Consequent Risk Assessment
Slope stability analyses are largely carried out by deterministic methods and evaluated through a single security factor. Although it is known that the geotechnical parameters can present great dispersal, such analyses are considered fixed and known. The probabilistic methods, in turn, incorporate the variability of input key parameters (random variables), resulting in a range of values of safety factors, thus enabling the determination of the probability of failure, which is an essential parameter in the calculation of the risk (probability multiplied by the consequence of the event). Among the probabilistic methods, there are three frequently used methods in geotechnical society: FOSM (First-Order, Second-Moment), Rosenblueth (Point Estimates) and Monte Carlo. This paper presents a comparison between the results from deterministic and probabilistic analyses (FOSM method, Monte Carlo and Rosenblueth) applied to a hypothetical slope. The end was held to evaluate the behavior of the slope and consequent risk analysis, which is used to calculate the risk and analyze their mitigation and control solutions. It can be observed that the results obtained by the three probabilistic methods were quite close. It should be noticed that the calculation of the risk makes it possible to list the priority to the implementation of mitigation measures. Therefore, it is recommended to do a good assessment of the geological-geotechnical model incorporating the uncertainty in viability, design, construction, operation and closure by means of risk management. 
Analytical Slope Stability Analysis Based on the Statistical Characterization of Soil Shear Strength
Increasing our ability to solve complex engineering problems is directly related to the processing capacity of computers. By means of such equipments, one is able to fast and accurately run numerical algorithms. Besides the increasing interest in numerical simulations, probabilistic approaches are also of great importance. This way, statistical tools have shown their relevance to the modelling of practical engineering problems. In general, statistical approaches to such problems consider that the random variables involved follow a normal distribution. This assumption tends to provide incorrect results when skew data is present since normal distributions are symmetric about their means. Thus, in order to visualize and quantify this aspect, 9 statistical distributions (symmetric and skew) have been considered to model a hypothetical slope stability problem. The data modeled is the friction angle of a superficial soil in Brasilia, Brazil. Despite the apparent universality, the normal distribution did not qualify as the best fit. In the present effort, data obtained in consolidated-drained triaxial tests and saturated direct shear tests have been modeled and used to analytically derive the probability density function (PDF) of the safety factor of a hypothetical slope based on Mohr-Coulomb rupture criterion. Therefore, based on this analysis, it is possible to explicitly derive the failure probability considering the friction angle as a random variable. Furthermore, it is possible to compare the stability analysis when the friction angle is modelled as a Dagum distribution (distribution that presented the best fit to the histogram) and as a Normal distribution. This comparison leads to relevant differences when analyzed in light of the risk management.
Static Analysis and Pseudostatic Slope Stability
This article aims to analyze the static stability and pseudostatic slope by using different methods such as: Bishop method, Junbu, Ordinary, Morgenstern-price and GLE. The two dimensional modeling of slope stability under various loading as: the earthquake effect, the water level and road mobile charges. The results show that the slope is stable in the static case without water, but in other cases, the slope lost its stability and give unstable. The calculation of safety factor is to evaluate the stability of the slope using the limit equilibrium method despite the difference between the results obtained by these methods that do not rely on the same assumptions. In the end, the results of this study illuminate well the influence of the action of water, moving loads and the earthquake on the stability of the slope.
Slope Stability of an Earthen Levee Strengthened by HPTRM under Turbulent Overtopping Conditions

High performance turf reinforcement mat (HPTRM) is one of the most advanced flexible armoring technologies for severe erosion challenges. The effect of turbulence on the slope stability of an earthen levee strengthened by high performance turf reinforcement mat (HPTRM) is investigated in this study for combined storm surge and wave overtopping conditions. The results show that turbulence has strong influence on the slope stability during the combined storm surge and wave overtopping conditions. Among the surge height, peak wave force and turbulent force. The turbulent force has the ability to stabilize the earthen levee at the large wave force the turbulent force has strongest effect on the FS. The surge storm acts as an independent force on the slope stability of the earthen levee. It just adds to the effects of the turbulent force and wave force on the slope stability of HPTRM strengthened levee.

Landfill Design for Reclamation of Şırnak Coal Mine Dumps: Shalefill Stability and Risk Assessment
By GEO5 FEM program with four rockfill slope modeling and stability analysis was performed for S1, S2, S3 and S4 slopes where landslides of the shalefills were limited. Effective angle of internal friction (φ'°) 17°-22.5°, the effective cohesion (c') from 0.5 to 1.8 kPa, saturated unit weight 1.78-2.43 g/cm3, natural unit weight 1.9-2.35 g/cm3, dry unit weight 1.97-2.40 g/cm3, the permeability coefficient of 1x10-4 - 6.5x10-4 cm/s. In cross-sections of the slope, GEO 5 FEM program possible critical surface tension was examined. Rockfill dump design was made to prevent sliding slopes. Bulk material designated geotechnical properties using also GEO5 programs FEM and stability program via a safety factor determined and calculated according to the values S3 and S4 No. slopes are stable S1 and S2 No. slopes were close to stable state that has been found to be risk. GEO5 programs with limestone rock fill dump through FEM program was found to exhibit stability.
Soil Mass Loss Reduction during Rainfalls by Reinforcing the Slopes with the Surficial Confinement

Soil confinement systems serve as effective solutions to any erosion control project. Various confinements systems, namely triangular, circular and rectangular with the size of 50, 100, and 150 mm, and with a depth of 10 mm, were embedded in soil samples at slope angle of 60°. The observed soil mass losses for the confined soil systems were much smaller than those from unconfined system. As a result, the size of confinement and rainfall intensity have a direct effect on the soil mass loss. The triangular and rectangular confinement systems showed the lowest and highest soil loss masses, respectively. The slopes also failed much faster in the unconfined system than in the confined slope.

Analysis of Highway Slope Failure by an Application of the Stereographic Projection
The mountain road slope failures triggered by earthquake activities and torrential rain namely to create the disaster. Province Road No. 24 is a main route to the Wutai Township. The area of the study is located at the mileages between 46K and 47K along the road. However, the road has been suffered frequent damages as a result of landslide and slope failures during typhoon seasons. An understanding of the sliding behaviors in the area appears to be necessary. Slope failures triggered by earthquake activities and heavy rainfalls occur frequently. The study is to understand the mechanism of slope failures and to look for the way to deal with the situation. In order to achieve these objectives, this paper is based on theoretical and structural geology data interpretation program to assess the potential slope sliding behavior. The study showed an intimate relationship between the landslide behavior of the slopes and the stratum materials, based on structural geology analysis method to analysis slope stability and finds the slope safety coefficient to predict the sites of destroyed layer. According to the case study and parameter analyses results, the slope mainly slips direction compared to the site located in the southeast area. Find rainfall to result in the rise of groundwater level is main reason of the landslide mechanism. Future need to set up effective horizontal drain at corrective location, that can effective restrain mountain road slope failures and increase stability of slope.
Using Non-Linear Programming Techniques in Determination of the Most Probable Slip Surface in 3D Slopes
Among many different methods that are used for optimizing different engineering problems mathematical (numerical) optimization techniques are very important because they can easily be used and are consistent with most of engineering problems. Many studies and researches are done on stability analysis of three dimensional (3D) slopes and the relating probable slip surfaces and determination of factors of safety, but in most of them force equilibrium equations, as in simplified 2D methods, are considered only in two directions. In other words for decreasing mathematical calculations and also for simplifying purposes the force equilibrium equation in 3rd direction is omitted. This point is considered in just a few numbers of previous studies and most of them have only given a factor of safety and they haven-t made enough effort to find the most probable slip surface. In this study shapes of the slip surfaces are modeled, and safety factors are calculated considering the force equilibrium equations in all three directions, and also the moment equilibrium equation is satisfied in the slip direction, and using nonlinear programming techniques the shape of the most probable slip surface is determined. The model which is used in this study is a 3D model that is composed of three upper surfaces which can cover all defined and probable slip surfaces. In this research the meshing process is done in a way that all elements are prismatic with quadrilateral cross sections, and the safety factor is defined on this quadrilateral surface in the base of the element which is a part of the whole slip surface. The method that is used in this study to find the most probable slip surface is the non-linear programming method in which the objective function that must get optimized is the factor of safety that is a function of the soil properties and the coordinates of the nodes on the probable slip surface. The main reason for using non-linear programming method in this research is its quick convergence to the desired responses. The final results show a good compatibility with the previously used classical and 2D methods and also show a reasonable convergence speed.
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