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ZHU Fang-cai1,2 CAO Ping2 ZHANG Kuang-sheng1


Institute of Geotechnical Engineering, Hunan University of Technology,Zhuzhou 412008, Hunan China

(e-mail of corresponding


School of Resources and Safety Engineering,Central South University, Changsha 410083,Hunan China
In hill areas, deep pits, failure of slopes is frequent and hazardous, and recovery of the slopes is often costive .In nearby regions of slopes, buildings are probably constructed, and building loads are transferred to the slope terrain at the foundation level, which may cause the slope fail, so stability of the slope with building loads should be checked. Plane limit equilibrium analysis ,which is often used, is probably insufficient due to overestimation or underestimation of safety factor and unreasonable slip surface, therefore three-dimensional stability analysis is necessary. Based on static equilibrium of slices and extended Spencer method, a series of formulae are given.With the assumption of elliptical slip surface,through random search and genetic algorithm,with a slope as an engineering case, stability of the slope is analyzed considering foundation level. Keywords:three-dimensional slope stabilty;building load;extended Spencer method;genetic algorithm



With some deep pits built in urban areas, slopes with building above in hill areas, some kinds of surcharges including traffic loads,building loads will act on them, slope stability considering these surcharges has to be studied, and end effects should not be neglected due to finite margin of surcharge or slopes themselves, therefore, though two dimensional limit equilibrium method is widely adopted in slope stability in plane slip mode and also sometimes used in three dimensional slope failure due to its simplicity(Paul D K & Kumar S,1997), it is certainly insufficient in estimate slope stability(Nihat Sinan Iska,Vedat Doyuran,Resat Ulusay,2004).In this article,stability is analyzed to study bearing capacity of a slope with building loads,and a case will be put forward. In three-dimensional slope stability, Bishop method, Morgenstern-Price method, simplified Janbus method and other limit equilibrium methods are often used, among these, Spencer method is widely adopted, which will be extended to be used in three dimensional slope stability (Chen Zuyu,2003, Jiang Jing-Cai & Takuo Yamagami,2004),and also it will be used in this study. 2. Extended Spencer method Two key problems in three dimensional slope stability are selection of analysis methods, determination critical surface and corresponding safety factor.As mentioned above, extended Spencer method is used in this analysis,see Figure 1.

Gi +1



Gi +1


Qi +1

Ti '


Gi Ni z



Fig. 1 Extended Spencer method

Firstly a cartesian coordinate system is built,also see Figure 1.In s direction,a static force equilibrium can be listed as followings.

(Wi + Q) cos + N i (n x sin + n z cos ) + Ti (m x sin + m z cos ) = 0


Where Wi is the weight of a soil bar,Q is the surcharge, N i is support force on the bottom of a soil bar,where water pore pressure is not considered, Ti is the anti-slip force on the bottom of a soil bar,and other symbols are shown in Figure 1. Based on Mohr-Coulomb rule,

Ti = N i tan / F + cAi / F
Where F is safety factor. Combine equation (1) and (2),we can determine the value of N i ,


Ni =

(Wi + Q) cos ce Ai (mx sin + mz cos ) nx sin + nz cos + tan e (mx sin + mz cos )


Considering equilibrium in S direction,

S = [ N i ( nx cos + nz sin ) + Ti ( m x cos + m z sin ) (Wi + Q ) sin ] = 0

Moment equilibrium along y axis should be satisfied,so


M = [ (Wi + Q ) xi N i n x z i + N i n z xi Ti m x z i + Ti m z xi ] = 0
And also force equibrium along y direction should be satisfied,


Y = ( N i n y + Ti m y ) = 0
Direction vector of Ti is perpendicular to one of N i ,


n = sin y n2 + n2 + n2 = 1 x y z nx mx + n y m y + nz mz = 0


Where ( n x , n y , n z ) is direction vector of Ti , ( m x , m y , m z ) is direction vector of N i . Combine equations(4),(5) and (6),three variables including F, and ,can be solved.Due to nonlinearity and implicity of the three equations,numerical algorithms should be used.NewtonRaphson method is a suggested one(Chen Zuyu,2003),however,this one is sensitive to initial values of variables,and often fail to obtain accurate values of the three variables.Here genetic algorithm is adopted(Ali R. Zolfaghari, Andrew C. Heath, Paul F,2005),which is shown in Table 2.
Tab.2 Implementation of genetic algorithm F 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 0


Search of critical slip surface randomly

Determination of critical slip surface in three dimensional slope stability is difficult, In order to guarantee critical slip surface close to actual ones, non-regular surfaces are used, which are searched by dynamic programming method(Jiang Jing-Cai & Takuo Yamagami,2004),controlling lines method(Thomaz J E & Lovell C W,1988), NURBS method(Cheng Y M, Liu H T, Wei W B, et al,2005) and so on. Due to the necessity of simplicity, some hypotheses on the shape of critical slip surfac are suggested including elliptical one(Chen Zuyu,2003),cylinder one(M. Semih Yucemen & Azm S. AI-Homoud,1990) ,and so on. Whereas, among these, elliptical shape is relatively reasonable and close to actual slip surface,and it will be used in the analysi.
( x x0 ) 2 ( y y 0 ) 2 ( z z 0 ) 2 + + =1 a2 b2 c2


Where ( x0 , y 0 , z 0 , a, b, c) is a set of variables,and can be chosen by randomly producing after getting rid of some unresonable values,the procedure of searching critical slip surface is shown in Figure 2.
Fig.2 Procedure of searching critical slip surface Input soil properties and slope geometry

Random cycle

Produce a trying critical slip surface

Produce soil bars of slip body based on partition of horizontal projection of it according to prescribed numbers of rows and arrays Genetic approach cycle

Produce the three variables population

Calculation of non-equilibrium of moment of y direction,forces of y direction and S direction Produce new variables population


Compare old saftey factor and newly one,store smaller one and corresponding slip surface

Cycle number>max?

Output computing reslut


A case

A low building is planned to constructed near to a slope with angle about 420,6m high.Soil properties are listed in Table 2.Search margin of ellip center is x direction 0-36m, y direction -2436m, z direction is 7.2-36m, with three half axis length as 6-36m respectively. Tab.2 Soil properties
Soil types Water content (%) Plain fill Cobbly silt Complete weathering cobbly rock 27.6 25.1 24.1 18.6 20.1 20.2 25.4 47.3 68.3 Density (kN/m3) Cohesion (kPa) Friction angle (0) 12.4 20.3 22.8 Thickness margin (m) 1.6-18.7 0.8-2.0 0-19.0 Average thickness (m) 10.0 1.5 8.0 Bearing capacity (kPa) 150,90 210 260

And foundation of this building is indispensable pillar foundation,which is shown in Figure 3.

6300 2400

Unit: mm


21002100 3740



24002400 5100 3300 12001200

3900 10001000 1100 o y x Fig.3 Layout of Foundations and their dimensions 1000 slope 5100 1300

With no building loads, safety factor is 3.216.From the computing results shown in Fig. 4, when design load is 150kPa, Safety factor of the slope with foundation level 1.0m and 2.0m below the top surface is 2.53,2.37 respectively ,in other words, even if this building takes effect on the slope,



the slope is safe enough. While lowering the foundation level a little, stability of the slope varies little. All in all, the slope is safe. However, for ensuring safety, designers changed the foundation form ,and adopted pile foundation., the critical slip surfaces are shown in Figure 4.

Fig.4 Critical slip surface with different foundation levels(unit: m)



Building loads have effects on the stability of a slope, due to their localization, three-dimensional stability analysis is necessary. Extended Spencer method is a popular method in three dimensional slope stability analysis, of which there are three key parameters, though NewtonRaphson method is a precise one to solve them, however it is not robust due to the sensitivity of initial values. In this study, genetic algorithm is used and proved to be effective. References Ali R. Zolfaghari, Andrew C. Heath, Paul F. McCombie.(2005). Simple genetic algorithm search for non-circular failure surface in slope stability analysis.Computers and geotechnics, 32:139-152 Chen Zuyu.(2003). Soil slope stability: theory, methods and programs.Beijing:China WaterPower Press Cheng Y M,Liu H T,Wei W B,et al.(2005).Location of critical three-dimensional non-spherical failure surface by NURBS functions and ellipsoid with applications to highway slopes.Computers and Geotechnics,32:387-399 Jiang Jing-Cai, Takuo Yamagami.(2004).Three-dimensional slope stability analysis using an extended spencer method.Soils and Foundations,Japanese Geotechnical Society,44(4):127135 M. Semih Yucemen and Azm S. AI-Homoud.(1990). Probabilistic three-dimensional stability

analysis of slopes. Structural Safety, 9:1-20 Nihat Sinan Iska,Vedat Doyuran,Resat Ulusay.(2004). Assessment of a coastal landslide subjected to building loads at Sinop, Black Sea region, Turkey, and stabilization measures.Engineering Geology, 75:69-88 Paul D K,Kumar S.(1997).Stability analysis of slope with building loads.Soil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering,16:395-405 Thomaz J E,Lovell C W.(1988). Three dimensional slope stability analysis with random generation of surfaces.In:Redacteur,ed.Proceedings of the fifth international symposium on landslides:Vol 1. Rotterdam/Brookfield :A.A.Balkema Publishers,777-781