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CHAPTER 1

INTRODUCTION

1.1 General

Slope failures have been recognized as the one of the most frequent catastrophic disaster which occurs around the globe. Construction works which intersect the sloping area can be prone to slope stability problems. For example, natural slopes which have been stable for many years tends to fail suddenly due to the changes in topography, seismicity, groundwater flows, loss of strength, stress changes and weathering process. Surface failure of slope may occur due to numerous factors, but it is commonly occur due to the failure of shear strength especially during rainy seasons. According to Liu C & Evett B.J, Sliding of slope will happen if shear stress acquired in the soil exceeds the corresponding shear strength of the soil. It may occur along any of number possible surface and due to the shear strength which is varies throughout time, as soil moisture and other factor change. The evolution of slope stability in geotechnical engineering becomes one of the problems encountered in construction industry. Slope stability problems have been faced throughout the history due to the disruption of nature that leading to unbalance of natural soil slope. For natural slope, assessment should be made involving to the loss of strength due to several factors such as weathering process and change in moisture content of the soil. For manmade slope, the assessment should take the possibility of loss of shear strength as well as

driving stress in the slope. Furthermore, there is increasing demand of land due to increasing population growth which mean more lands need to be explored and many engineering projects need to be carried out at the hill sides to meet this current demands. In Malaysia, slope failure becomes one of the main issues in slope stability field. Most major landslides happen along highways, hill side residence area which brings fatalities and injuries (http://slopes.jkr.gov.my, 2012). The collapse of Block 1 of Highland Towers in 1993 has been traumatic chaos to the nation. The proceeding years, another tragic slope failure at Taman Hillview during November 2002 and landslide at Bukit Lanjan in 2003 had driven many authorities to concern regarding the slope stability issues. Besides, slope failure that happen along highways although rarely bring any fatalities but, cause chaotic disruptions to the performance of transportation network and adversely affected the road users. If no action is taken, it will bring massive traffic congestion, road closures and diversions at the affected area. Hence, to overcome this obstruction, there is a need to understand analytical methods, investigative tools and stabilization methods to solve slope stability problems (Abramson et al, 1996). Analysis of slope stability is carried out to minimize the occurrence of slope failures and landslides. Most of the methods used involves specialty construction techniques that must be understood and modeled in realistic ways. There are many techniques to analyze the slope stability proposed by previous scholars. It is an analytical tool for assessing the stability of a slope by using a simple failure model in analysis. Stability analysis should be based on the smallest shear strength a soil will ever have in the future (Liu C & Evett B.J, 2005). One of method which is commonly used is Culmann Method. According to this method, failure or sliding will occur along a plane that passes through the toe of the fill. By using this method, it will gives reasonably accurate results if the slope is vertical, or nearly vertical (angle is equal to, or nearly equal to 90o)(Taylor, 1948). Other method is the Stability Number Method. It is based on the premise that resistance of a soil mass to sliding results from cohesion and internal friction of the soil along the failure surface. Both of these methods are used to analyze slope stability in homogeneous soils that have cohesion. Methods in stabilization of slope had been developed since historical era. It was introduced before the Christian era began when certain geographic regions were afflicted with

soil conditions which having restricted technology within their residence. During the Mesopotamians and Roman era, stabilizing agent has been discovered such as pulverized limestone and calcium. Both of these findings were the first chemical stabilization of weak soils in order to improve the load-carrying ability (http://www.tac-atc.ca, 2012). Throughout the history, many improvements and technologies had been found to stabilize the slope and it is still developing recently. Retaining wall is one of the methods used in stabilizing a slope. Retaining wall can be defined as structures that are built to retain vertical or nearly vertical earth banks or any other material (Murthy V.N.S, ___). It is constructed to resist the lateral pressure of soil when there is a desired change in ground elevation that exceeds the angle of repose of the soil. Besides, it is built for the purpose of retaining, or holding back, a soil mass (or other material) (Liu C & Evett B.J , 2005). This research is conducted to study the parameters required in determining the factor of safety of a slope. This study involves the slope at Jalan Sulaman road in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Some soil samples were taken and bring to the laboratory. Experimental works was done to classify the soil and some parameters were determined to calculate the stability of the slope chosen. The study will analyze the stability of the slope. If the slope factor of safety F.O.S is less than 1.4, then a suggestion is proposed as an improvement method before the slope collapse. The slope stability is calculated by using suitable calculation and computer-aided model. This is done to compare the result obtained for precision purpose. By using Slope/W software, a detailed analysis will be obtained. The slope stability analysis will determined whether the slope is considered as safe. If the slope is not safe, this study will propose a retaining wall design by using RetWall software and by suitable manual calculation for comparison purpose. Ref used: Liu C & Evett B.J. 2005. Soils and Foundations: SI Edition. Prentice Hall, Inc. Singapore. Murthy V.N.S. 2003. Geotechnical Engineering: Principles and Practices of Soil Mechanics and

Foundation Engineering. Marcel Dekker, Inc. New York.


http://www.tac-atc.ca. April 2012. Modern Soil Stabilization Techniques.

http://slopes.jkr.gov.my. April 2012. Title Abramson et al, 1996 (?) 1.2 Definition i. Clay Clays are generally defined as particles smaller than 0.002mm. According to Grim (1953), clays are particles which develop plasticity when mixed with a limited amount of water. It is a stiff, sticky fine-grained earth, typically yellow, red, or bluish-gray in color and often forming an impermeable layer in the soil which can be molded when wet, and is dried and baked. ii. Slope failure A geological phenomenon which includes a wide range of ground movement, such as rock falls, deep failure of slope sand shallow debris flows, which can occur in offshore, coastal and onshore environments. Its occur when the stability of a slope changes from a stable to an unstable condition. iii. Factor of Safety (F.O.S) Factor of Safety is the ratio of total force available to resist sliding to the total force tending to induce sliding. It also known as (and used interchangeably with) safety factor (SF), is a term describing the structural capacity of a system beyond the expected loads or actual loads. Safety factors are often calculated using detailed analysis because comprehensive testing is impractical on many projects, such as bridges and buildings, but the structure's ability to carry load must be determined to a reasonable accuracy. iv. Shear Strength Shear strength of the soil is a term used in soil mechanics to describe the ability to resist shear stresses. Shear stresses exist in a sloping hillslide or result from filled land, weight of footings and so on. Because the ability of soil to support an imposed load is determined by its shear strength, the shear strength of soil is important in foundation design, lateral earth pressure calculation, and slope stability analysis.

v.

Cohesion The cohesion is a term used in describing the shear strength soils. It is the shear strength or the force that binds together like particles in the structure of a soil Its definition is mainly derived from the Mohr-Coulomb failure criterion and it is used to describe the non-frictional part of the shear resitance which is independent of the normal stress.

vi.

Specific Gravity Specific gravity is the ratio of the density (mass of a unit volume) of a substance to the density of a given reference material. Specific gravity usually means relative density with respect to water.

vii.

Compaction Compaction is the process of increasing the bulk density of a soil or aggregate by driving out air. It is usually done by mechanical means by vibration, rolling and tamping.

viii.

Atterberg Limit Atterberg Limit is a basic measure to analyze cohesive soils. Atterberg limits test is to obtain basic index information about the soil used to estimate strength and settlement characteristics.

ix.

Culmann Method Culmann Method is based on the assumption that the failure of a slope occurs along a plane when then average shearing stress tending to cause the slip is more than the shear strength of the soil. Also, the most critical plane is the one that has a minimum ratio of the average shearing stress that tends to cause failure to the shear strength of soil.

x.

Stability Number Method Based on the premise that resistance of a soil mass to sliding results from cohesion and internal friction of the soil along the failure surface. In this method, the failure surface assumed to be a circular arc. A parameter called stability number is introduced.

xi.

Method of Slices Most commonly used method of slope stability analysis where the failure mass is subdivided into vertical slices and the factor of safety is calculated based on force equilibrium equations.

xii.

Retaining Wall A structure designed and constructed to resist the lateral pressure of soil when there is a desired change in ground elevation that exceeds the angle of repose of the soil Retaining structures are built for the purpose of retaining, or holding back, a soil mass.

1.3 Background of Study

After obtained the soil sample, the soils were brought to the laboratory for further findings. The soil is classified using several geotechnical engineering tests to determine the soil properties. The tests conducted are as follows: i) Sieve analysis To assess the particle size distribution of a granular material and to classify the soil according to standard and for engineering purpose. ii) Specific gravity An important parameters for calculating the weight-volume relationship iii) Compaction To determine the optimal moisture content at which a given soil type will become most dense and achieve its maximum dry density. iv) Trixial test To determine the fundamental of shear strength parameters that will be needed in calculating the factor of safety of a slope. Parameters that will be obtained throughout this experiment: Angle of friction, Cohesion. v) Atterberg Limit (Plastic Limit and Liquid Limit) To obtain basic index information about the soil used to estimate strength and settlement characteristics.

Thus, in this research on a study of factor of safety of a slope, the soil is classified by conducting sieve analysis test. Then, in the case of cohesive soils (where the particle size is too small), Atterberg limit test is done and specific gravity test is conducted. Next, Standard Proctor compaction test is done to determine the optimum water content. The result will be used to prepare sample for trixial test. Lastly, trixial test is done to determine the shear strength parameters. After obtaining the shear strength parameters, factor of safety of the slope is calculated by using suitable method and by using Slope/W software. Finally to design the retaining wall, we used computer-aided design that is RETWALL to calculate the parameters needed and AUTOCAD to design the retaining wall.

1.4 Problem Statement

Slope failure is a common problem that occurs in construction field due to ground movement, changes in topography, seismicity, groundwater flows, loss of strength and etc. Thus, analysis of stability is carried out to minimize the occurrences of slope failure. If improper slope analysis is done, it might cause chaos and fatality to public. Thus, action and suitable methods need to be applied as a safety remedies before any slope chaos will happen in the future. Slope failure can be determined through various appropriate measurement of slope stability. The main consideration in choosing the best method of slope stability analysis is based on its suitability of soil properties (whether its meet the requirement of parameters needed), the effect of different methods in determining the factor of safety towards recommendation design. If

1.5 Objectives

i. ii. iii. iv.

To determine the parameters needed to calculate F.O.S of slope To compare the F.O.S value by using the suitable formula and computer model/software To design a suitable retaining wall by using computer model and manual calculation To suggest some method of improvements of slope failure

1.6 Scope of Study The study is conducted at Jalan Sulaman heading to Indah Permai. Along the road, there is a hill besides the UCA residential area which has tendency of having slope failure. Soil sample is collected and experimental laboratory works is done to determine the soil properties. This study will analyze the parameter needed in determining the factor of safety of this slope by using several methods. The analysis of slope failure will be made by using manual calculation and computer model (GeoStudio 2007 Slope/W). By using this software, the factor of safety of the slope will be determined. Further works will be done if the factor of safety (F.O.S) is less than 1.4 which indicates the soil is not stable and unsafe. Thus, as a recommendation, a retaining wall will be designed to meet the requirement of this slope.

The details of this research are as follows: Location: Soil sample is collected at a hill beside UCA residential area, Jalan Sulaman, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Material: Material used to conduct experiment is clay soil.

Experiments and equipment: i. ii. iii. i. ii. iii. Soil classification Sieve analysis, Atterberg limit, Specific gravity Shear strength- Trixial test Prepare of sample (optimum moisture content) - compaction Software: GeoStudio 2007 Slope/W) RetWall AutoCad