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Three-dimensional stability charts for slopes based on limit analysis methods
journal contributionposted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by An-Jui LiAn-Jui Li, R Merifield, A Lyamin
This paper uses finite element upper and lower bound limit analysis to produce chart solutions for three-dimensional (3D) natural slopes for both short- and long-term stability. The presented chart solutions are convenient tools that can be used for preliminary design purposes. The rigorous limit analysis results in this paper were found to bracket the true factor of safety within ±10% or better, which can be used as a benchmark for the solutions from other methods. The depth of the slip surfaces is observed to be generally shallow for most analyzed cases, particularly for the long-term slope stability problem. In addition, it was found that using a two-dimensional (2D) analysis may lead to significant differences in estimating safety factors, which can differ by 2%–60% depending on the slope geometry and soil properties. Therefore, great care and judgement are required when applying 2D analyses to 3D slope problems.