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GEO-SLOPE International Ltd, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Comparison with Stability Chart

1 Introduction
In the 1960s, Bishop and Morgenstern developed a series of stability charts that can be used to estimate the factors of safety for simple homogeneous earth slopes. The purpose of this detailed example is to compare and verify the SLOPE/W solution with a factor of safety estimated using stability charts. Features of this simulation include: Analysis method: Morgenstern-Price (Half-sine function) Use of Ru coefficients Use of Entry and Exit slip surfaces SI units

Configuration and setup

Figure 1 shows a homogeneous 4:1 slope with c= 12.5 kN/m2, = 20, = 16 kN/m3, and Ru=0.35.

Figure 1 Homogeneous slope example

Solution from Bishop and Morgensterns Stability Chart

Using the stability chart method, the factor of safety, F may be determined from the expression:

F m n ru
In which m and n are know as stability coefficients. m is the factor of safety with respect to total stresses when no pore water pressures are assumed, and n is the coefficient which represents the effect of the pore pressure on the factor of safety. For this example, the height of the slope from crest to toe is 31 m. Therefore, the dimensionless parameter is:

c 12.5 0.025 H 16 31

SLOPE/W Example File: Comparison with stability chart.docx (pdf) (gsz)

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GEO-SLOPE International Ltd, Calgary, Alberta, Canada

The appropriate D factor for Ru = 0.35 is 1.25. The stability coefficients from the Bishop and Morgenstern charts are m = 1.97 and n = 1.78. Therefore, the factor of safety of the slope using stability charts is calculated as:

F 1.97 1.78 x 0.35 F 1.35

SLOPE/W Solutions

The same slope is analyzed with SLOPE/W. The sliding mass contains 30 slices. Figure 2 illustrates the slope modeled with SLOPE/W.
60 50
5 6


Elevation (m)

40 30 20
3 4

10 0
1 2
















Distance (m)
Figure 2 Critical slip surface of homogeneous slope

The factor of safety computed by SLOPE/W is 1.34 for both the Bishop Simplified method and the Morgenstern-Price method. This is in close agreement with 1.35 as estimated from the stability charts.


SLOPE/W gives essentially the same factor of safety as the solution based on Bishop and Morgensterns Stability Chart stability chart. This simple example confirms that SLOPE/W is formulated correctly.

SLOPE/W Example File: Comparison with stability chart.docx (pdf) (gsz)

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