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Geology 229 Engineering and Environmental Geology Lecture 26

Mass Movement and Landslides (Cont. see Ch. 14)

Quantitative Analysis of Landslides 1. Definition of slip (sliding) 2. Translational slip 3. Rotational slip 4. Analysis of factor of safety (FS) 5. Surface subsidence and sinkholes

Feb. 18, 2006 Philippine Landslide

Movement occurs as a displacement along one distinct surface of failure (or a narrow zone of failure). This is in contrast with flow. . -The failure surface is idealized into either a planer or circular plane.Movement by slip (sliding) . -Failure occurred on the circular plane is rotational. -Using the limit equilibrium approach: equating the driving forces to the resisting forces on the slipping plane at the time of failure. -Failure occurred on the planar surface is translational.

Driving force: Wsinθ Resisting force: µWcosθ µWcosθ θ .

When FS > 1. safe. and FS < 1. when the dipping angle θ is smaller than the angle of friction φ. the resisting force FR is greater than the driving force FD. onset of failure. and vice versa. . FS = 1. failed. and the factor of safety (FS) is greater than 1.The factor of safety (FS) for the translational slip is defined as FR µW cos θ tan φ = = FS = tan θ FD W sin θ Clearly.

. • Circular surface of failure is common for considering essentially homogeneous materials (soils. etc. loose or weak materials).The slope failure (slump) • Slope failure is also called a slump. • As indicated by the TRB Classification. slump occurs with the presence of earth. debris. weak rock matters.

• toe failure: extended slope or additional excavation. • Base failure: flat weak zone at depth.Three types of slump failure • Slope failure: weak near surface materials. slope failure toe failure base failure .

groundwater plays an important role in slump failure. road cuts. after heavy rainfall. In springtime. slump failures are very common in all natural slopes.Slumps usually occur in humid areas. after the thawing. out slopes. . and embankments.


we need using a balance of moment. The moment is defined as the force times the arm length to the shaft of the rotation. the slip is occurring along a circular plane. we need a help from rigid body mechanics whose treatment is suitable for analyzing rotations. instead of using the force balance approach. (1). not a planar plane anymore. the mass movement is not a simple translational motion. the analysis is similar but with several exceptions. . but with rotation component. Thus. (2).Factor of safety (FS) analysis for slump failure Parallel to the FS analysis we have done for slip along a planar plane. To analyze a case like this.

The factor of safety (FS) now is defined as M R FR ⋅ armR FS = = M D FD ⋅ armD .

. In the case if FS is close to unity. the slope is close to fail. The FS is greater than one for this case. If the resisting moment is larger than the driving moment it is a safe slope. slip would not happen.where MR is the resisting moment and MD is the driving moment. it implies that the driving moment is close to the resisting moment.

Driving Moment .

The arm length ri is taken as the radius of the circular failure plane (an arc). parallel to the failure plane towards downward.M D = ∑ riWi sin θ i i =1 n Wisinθi is the driving force on the i-th portion of the failure plane. . or the contribution from the i-th sub-block. After multiplying the driving force with the arm of rotation ri the quantity is the driving moment from that portion.

σ eff = σ ni − pi is the effective stress. C is the cohesion. . for each sub-block we have τ i = C + µ (σ ni − Pi ) = C + tan φ (σ ni − Pi ) where τ i is the shear stress.Recall the Coulomb-Mohr criterion for shear failure. σ ni is the normal stress. φ is the angle of friction. and Pi is the pore pressure.

The above formula is in stress format. the area underneath each sub-block on the slipping plane results in the resisting force FRi = CAi + tan φ (Wi cos θ i − Ai Pi ) then the total resisting moment is M R = ∑ ri [CAi + tan φ (Wi cos θ i − Ai Pi )] i =1 n . multiplication of it with Ai.

. Finally. We can also take the contact area on the slipping plane as the length ∆li times a unity thickness d. so the arm lengths for all the sub-blocks are the same distance r.So that the Factor of Safety FS is MR FS = = MD ∑ i =1 n ri [CAi + tan φ (Wi cos θ i − Ai Pi )] ∑ r W sin θ i =1 i i n i For a practical calculation we can further simplified by approximating the slipping plane to be circular.

.So that the Factor of Safety FS is MR = FS = MD with dCL + tan φ ∑ (Wi cos θ i − dPi ∆li ) N ∑ Wi sinθ i i =1 i =1 N L = ∑ ∆l i i =1 n dL = A = ∑ A i i =1 n This formula can be practically implemented.

The question is: under what conditions the block has toppling and under what conditions it has slip? .Now we can integrate the discussion of slip and toppling.

8) . 14.θ<φ θ>φ Slipping No toppling b/h=tanθ No slipping No toppling Slipping toppling Toppling No slipping (West. Fig.

Surface subsidence and sinkholes .



3) . Fig. 14.Form of a sinkhole (West.

• collapse of subsurface openings.Lowering the land surface by a vertical downward movement is called Subsidence. • consolidation. The mechanisms of subsidence include: • compaction. silty layer near surface. etc.). • plastic outflow of weak layers (organic. .

The weight of the bridge is supported by the arch. form an arch-shaped roof. . or containing few and widely spaced joints). but instead.Underground Opening Collapse When the opening width W is sufficiently small or the rock above the cave is massive (strong. and they are all in arch shaped structure. with wide-span. Reason: Compression developed in the arch. Analogy: When you drive on Route 15 to New York. the weight of the bridge is transferred to the abutments. the void would not migrate upward. you might noticed many crossover bridges crossing the highway above Route 15. no surface subsidence at all.

Arch-shaped bridge Subsurface opening W .

China) Subsurface opening W .Zhaozhou Bridge (built ~600 AD. Hebei.

However. Rock type and joint spacing together determines the effective strength of the country rock in which the subsurface opening exists. when the width W is large enough. surface subsidence will occur.Angle θ depends on the rock type and the joint spacing. .

2) o .Surface expression a sinkhole (West. 14. Fig.

Angle of draw β: Angle of draw is measured from vertical. from the point the plane of draw meeting the ground surface. the mass moves inward. .2: Angle of break α: On which slide likely to occur.Refer to Figure 14. a physical property of the rocks. α= φ/2+45° φ is the angle of friction. Practically this point (F) is taken as the location where 5% of the maximum vertical displacement occurs.

the plane of draw is always outside of the plane of break. the zero-point on strain curve.5. OF = W/2.The plane of draw is always more horizontal than the plane of break. . Usually. i.e. OB = OF/2. Point B: vertically above the boundary of the opening: the inflection point on subsidence curve. It corresponds to point D.

hard clay 11-26 Stiff or soft clay 26-50 Sand below water table >50 Clearly soft or loose materials have large β value.Point C: C is the point with maximum tensile strain. BA ~ 3BF. so it is the likely plane of break to occur (cracks). Means broader effect area. . It corresponds to point A on the break plane. The β values: Rock type β value Rock. .A good landslide introduction web: http://www.