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An Extension of Bishop's Simplified Method of Slope Stability Analysis to Three Dimensions

An Extension of Bishop's Simplified Method of Slope Stability Analysis to Three Dimensions

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A new algorithm for three-dimensional limit equilibrium slope stability analysis is presented, based on a direct extension of Bishop’s simplified method of slices. This new variant of the method of columns retains the conceptual and mathematical
simplicity of Bishop’s original simplified
A new algorithm for three-dimensional limit equilibrium slope stability analysis is presented, based on a direct extension of Bishop’s simplified method of slices. This new variant of the method of columns retains the conceptual and mathematical
simplicity of Bishop’s original simplified

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Published by: saifuddin_arief on May 28, 2010
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Hun& 0.
(1987). Giotechnique7, No. 1, 113-117
An extension of Bishop’s simplified method of slopestability analysis to three dimensions
0. HUNGR*KEYWORDS: analysis; computation; slopes; stability.A new algorithm for three-dimensional limit equi-librium slope stability analysis is presented, basedon a direct extension of Bishop’s simplifiedmethod of slices. This new variant of the methodof columns retains the conceptual and mathe-matical simplicity of Bishop’s original simplifiedmethod. Existing computer programs can beeasily modified for three-dimensional analysis.Comparisons with two other computer-basedmethods indicate somewhat higher factors ofsafety, due to the inclusion of intercolumn forces.Comparisons with closed form wedge analysesderived from rock mechanics theory show excel-lent agreement for both frictional and cohesivematerials.INTRODUCTIONThe assumption of two-dimensional (planestrain) geometry is common to all routine limitequilibrium slope stability calculations, with theexception of wedge analyses of rock slopes, yet nolandslide occurs in plane strain. End effects,lateral curvature of the sliding surface, plan cur-vature of the slope and lateral non-homogeneityare all routinely neglected to compress a slopestability problem into the limited framework of atwo-dimensional model.The effect of such simplifications on the preci-sion of the stability index is in many cases negligi-ble. There are cases, however, where the errorintroduced by neglecting the three-dimensionalcharacter of a potential landslide cannot reason-ably be brushed aside without a quantitativeassessment of its influence. Examples that can begiven include shafts and other deep, narrow exca-vations, corners and re-entrants of natural orexcavated slopes, or slopes which fail by a narrowlocalized failure-possibly due to a concentratedload at the crest. In all such cases a factor ofsafety that is greater than that predicted by atwo-dimensional analysis of the central cross-Discussion on this Technical Note closes on 1 July1987. For further details see p. ii.* Thurber Consultants Ltd, Vancouver.section would be expected. Examples can also beencountered where the two-dimensional analysisproduces non-conservative results, such as endsand outside corners of embankments, ridges orconical fills (e.g. artificial islands).Despite this, only a few attempts at three-dimensional slope stability analysis have beenpublished. The most general approach is themethod of columns, which is analogous to thetwo-dimensional method of slices. The slidingbody is divided into a series of vertical columnsof a rectangular cross-section (Figs 1 and 2).Hovland (1977) developed a limiting equilibriumstability algorithm for an arbitrary three-dimensional curved sliding surface, assuming zerostresses on all the vertical intercolumn surfaces.This corresponds to the ordinary method of slicesin two dimensions (Bishop, 1955). Chen &Chameau (1983) extended the method and tookintercolumn forces into account using a set oforiginal and conceptually rather complicatedassumptions.The method described here is based on a directextension of the assumptions of Bishop (1955)into three dimensions. The method was developedindependently by the Author in December 1983.It is perhaps not surprising that the same algo-rithm was developed earlier by at least tworesearchers and is described both by Hutchison(198 1) and by Humphrey & Dunne (1982).In their original plane strain application,Bishop’s assumptions led to the derivation ofBishop’s widely used simplified method of slices.This yields factor of safety estimates that areoften significantly greater than those resultingfrom the ordinary method and proves thereforeto be less conservative as it accounts for the posi-tive effect of interslice forces.Bishop’s simplified method has also beenshown to produce remarkably accurate resultswhen compared with more recent and sophisti-cated techniques (e.g. Spencer (1967)). As will beseen in the following section, its extension intothree dimensions involves no additional assump-tions and is fully physically analogous to Bishop’soriginal simplified method. The three-dimensionalmethod would therefore be intuitively expected toexhibit as good a performance as the originalmethod. The method neglects vertical inter-113
Fig. 1. Forces acting on a single column: vertical inter-column shear forces, which are neglected in the analysis,are not shown; force application points are approximate;the pore pressure resultant is not
shown hut
would act inthe line of the normal force N
Fig. 2. (a) Isometry of a rotational sliding body, sym-metrical with respect to a central vertical plane, dividedinto a series of columns (only
bases of the ‘active’columns
are shown); (b) vertical cross-set ion of thesliding body in the plane of the axis of rotation (eachfigure representsonly one half of the body)
column shear, but not intercolumn normal forcesand horizontal shear forces.The algorithm has been implemented in amicrocomputer program
and calcu-lations have been carried out to provide a com-parison with some earlier results by Chen &Chameau (1983) and Hovland (1977).
The key formulae of the algorithm are derivedby adopting literally the two assumptions ofBishop (1955)(a) vertical shear forces acting on both the longi-tudinal and the lateral vertical faces of eachcolumn can be neglected in the equilibriumequations(b) the vertical force equilibrium equation of eachcolumn and the summary moment equi-librium equation of the entire assemblage ofcolumns are sufficient conditions to determineall the unknown forces.It is implicit in the second assumption thatboth the lateral and the longitudinal horizontalforce equilibrium conditions are neglected, asthey are in the two-dimensional model.With reference to Fig. 1, the total normal forceN acting on the base of a column can be derivedfrom the vertical force equilibrium equation
W =
N, +
S, =
cos y,
(N - u4
4 + g
is the total weight of the column, u isthe pore pressure acting in the centre of thecolumn base, A is the true base area, c is thecohesion, 4 is the friction angle and
is thefactor of safety. From thisN = W - CA sin
cry/F + uA
tan 4 sin
m, = cos yz 1 +
sin fxY an 4
F cos yz>
(3)The true area of the column base,
has beenderived by Hovland (1977)A = *x my (1 - sin’ U, sin* OL$/*cos u, cos tlY(4)
115The angle y, between the direction of thenormal force N and the vertical axis can bederived from geometrical considerations as
‘OS =tan’ c(~+ tan2 c(, +1(5)The plan area of the sliding body is nowdivided into a series of columns arranged in rowsof uniform width, as indicated in Fig. 2, theirbases lying on a rotational surface related to aunique axis of rotation.A moment equilibrium equation for anassemblage of j columns can be written as follows,since all the intercolumn forces cancel out againsttheir respective reactions(6)From this, with the substitution of N fromequation (2)F=Cj=, [(W-uuAcosy,)tan4+ CA cos r,]/m, x (ci=,
sin tlJ1 (7)The normal intercolumn forces P and horizon-tal shear forces T are not neglected in theanalysis, although they do not enter the equationsand neither their magnitudes nor the position oftheir points of application need be known. This isan advantage inherited from Bishop’s originalsimplified method.Equation (7) is implicit in F and yields therequired factor of safety when solved by an iter-ative procedure. For CI, = 0 (i.e. a cylindricalfailure surface), equation (7) will reduce to thewell-known formula of Bishop’s simplifiedmethod.The similarity of the proposed algorithm to theoriginal two-dimensional equivalent provides anopportunity for simple conversions of computerprograms to three dimensions.COMPARISON WITH OTHER METHODSTo demonstrate typical results of the proposedslope stability analysis method, a parametricstudy represented by fig. 9 of Chen & Chameau(1983) was repeated using
The subject of the analysis is a homogeneous,fully drained slope 6.1 m high, with a horizontal-to-vertical inclination of 2.5:1. Each half of thesymmetrical sliding body has a compound shape,consisting of a cylindrical part I, wide and a semi-ellipsoidal part centred on the axis of rotation I,wide (Fig. 2(b)). The cross-section of the cylin-drical part corresponds to the ‘critical’ two-dimensional sliding circle as determined by Chen& Chameau (1983) for each of three differentmaterials. The radii and the centre co-ordinates,y, and zc, of each circle are given in Table 1,together with the assumed Coulomb strengthparameters of each material. To facilitate com-parison, the circle geometries were scaled fromfig. 8 of Chen & Chameau (1983) and no indepen-dent search for the critical circles was done. Theunit weight of the material, unspecified by Chenand Chameau, was assumed to be 20 kN/m3. Thetwo-dimensional factors of safety, obtained byBishop’s simplified method, are shown in Table 1.The narrowness of the sliding body is a func-tion of the two parameters 1, and lc definedearlier. Fig. 3(a), reproduced from Chen &Chameau (1983), shows the ratio between thethree-dimensional factor of safety F, calculatedby the program
and the correspondingtwo-dimensional result for the central cross-section, F,. This diagram was criticized by Hut-chinson & Sarma (1985), who pointed out thatthe ratio
can approach, but should not fallbelow, 1 O.A corresponding diagram obtained by
based on Bishop’s three-dimensional simplifiedmethod is shown in Fig. 3(b). The factors of safetywere obtained with a column assembly that wassimilar to that shown in Fig. 2, the number ofcolumns being in the range 12&150 in each halfof the sliding body. The factor
was calculatedusing Bishop’s simplified method of slices. Thenew results generally indicate a somewhat strong-
Table 1. Input parameters for the parametric study*
Circle Cohesion: FrictionRadius:Y, tz,:tPlane strainkPa angle: deg mmm factor of safety1 0 40
4.38 13.43 2.7133 14.4 25 14.49 6.17 12.20 2.7635 28.7 15 15.33 5.56 11.47 2.872*
Dimensions scaled from fig. 8 of Chen & Chameau (1983).t Cartesian co-ordinates of the sliding circle’s centre, relative to an origin placed at thetoe of the slope.

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