Geoengineer.org has gathered and presented educational material on the following Slope Stability topics:
Slopes are typically categorized in two types: natural and artificially-made slopes. Natural slopes are formed due to physical processes that include plate tectonics and weathering/erosion of rock masses that result in material deposition. Artificially-made slopes are established to facilitate infrastructure projects, ex., embankments, earth dams, road cuttings etc.
The stability of a slope is of critical importance in Geotechnical Engineering applications. A slope movement (also referred as a landslide) can lead to severe issues including infrastructure damage or/and casualties. Slope stability depends on the capability of the soil mass to withstand its gravitational forces, the additional loads acting on the slope, as well as potential dynamic loads (such as that of an earthquake).
A common misconception is that landslides occur in steep and remote slopes and do not actually impact human infrastructure. However, statistics show that most of world’s regions are impacted by (at least) some types of landslide phenomena that can be triggered by several factors including erosion, precipitation, earthquakes, human activity etc.
Landslides may occur rapidly or progress steadily at a fixed rate. They are common in soils and rockmasses with poor mechanical properties (highly fractured or weathered). However, a landslide can be triggered also by deformations along discontinuity layers of strong rocks. The nature and type of landslide phenomena are complex and are further analyzed below.
The most common and complete classification system of landslides is that provided by Varnes (1978), who introduces a system that requires the definition of the landslide material and the type of the movement induced. The ground materials are distinguished in 5 categories:
The 5 types of landslide movements that can be observed are categorized as following:
As discussed in Mechanics of Slope Stability, the...
The Problem: A 30 m high unstable slope along th...
The photo of this failure was donated by EDAFOMICH...