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Engineering Geology 79 (2005) 230 – 250 www.elsevier.


Probabilistic analysis of rock slope stability and random properties of discontinuity parameters, Interstate Highway 40, Western North Carolina, USA
Hyuck-Jin Parka,T, Terry R. Westb, Ik Wooa

Department of Geoinformation Engineering, Sejong University, Gunja-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, Korea b Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA Received 26 January 2004; received in revised form 30 December 2004; accepted 4 February 2005 Available online 7 April 2005

Abstract Probabilistic analysis has been used as an effective tool to evaluate uncertainty so prevalent in variables governing rock slope stability. In this study a probabilistic analysis procedure and related algorithms were developed by extending the Monte Carlo simulation. The approach was used to analyze rock slope stability for Interstate Highway 40 (I-40), North Carolina, USA. This probabilistic approach consists of two parts: analysis of available geotechnical data to obtain random properties of discontinuity parameters; and probabilistic analysis of slope stability based on parameters with random properties. Random geometric and strength parameters for discontinuities were derived from field measurements and analysis using the statistical inference method or obtained from experience and engineering judgment of parameters. Specifically, this study shows that a certain amount of experience and engineering judgment can be utilized to determine random properties of discontinuity parameters. Probabilistic stability analysis is accomplished using statistical parameters and probability density functions for each discontinuity parameter. Then, the two requisite conditions, kinematic and kinetic instability for evaluating rock slope stability, are determined and evaluated separately, and subsequently the two probabilities are combined to provide an overall stability measure. Following the probabilistic analysis to account for variation in parameters, results of the probabilistic analyses were compared to those of a deterministic analysis, illustrating deficiencies in the latter procedure. Two geometries for the cut slopes on I-40 were evaluated, the original 758 slope and the 508 slope which has developed over the past 40 years of weathering. D 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Probabilistic analysis; Kinematic analysis; Kinetic instability; Rock slope; Monte Carlo simulation

1. Introduction Uncertainty and variability are inevitable in engineering geology studies dealing with natural materials. This prevails because rocks and soils are

T Corresponding author. Fax: +82 2 462 7537. E-mail address: (H.-J. Park). 0013-7952/$ - see front matter D 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.enggeo.2005.02.001

H.-J. Park et al. / Engineering Geology 79 (2005) 230–250


inherently heterogeneous, insufficient amount of information for site conditions are available and the understanding of failure mechanisms is incomplete. Therefore, many early efforts have been made to limit or quantify uncertainty of input data and analysis results (Casagrande, 1965; Peck, 1969; Einstein and Baecher, 1983; Whitman, 1984). Slope engineering is perhaps the geotechnical subject most dominated by uncertainty since slopes are composed of natural materials (El-Ramly et al., 2002). Uncertainty in rock slope engineering may occur as scattered values for discontinuity orientations and geometries such as discontinuity trace length and spacing, and in laboratory or in situ test results. Therefore, one of the greatest challenges for rock slope stability analysis is the selection of representative values from widely scattered discontinuity data. Application of probabilistic analysis has provided an objective tool to quantify and model variability and uncertainty. In particular, the probabilistic approach to rock slope stability makes it possible to consider uncertainty and variability in geotechnical parameters of rock masses. Although probabilistic analyses have been applied to rock slope stability, a limited number of examples applied to practical cases have been fully described. Lately commercially available limit equilibrium codes (such as SWEDGE, ROCKPLANE, SLIDE, SLOPE/W) often incorporate probabilistic tools, in which variations in discontinuity properties can be assessed. In this study, an application of the probabilistic method to practical problems in rock slope stability analysis is provided, and improved procedures for the evaluation of random properties of discontinuity parameters are explained. For this purpose, a rock cut in western North Carolina provides the example where the probabilistic approach is applied to analyze slope stability. In addition, random properties of discontinuity parameters, which were measured in the field, obtained through laboratory testing and applied in the probabilistic analysis, are discussed.

2. Probabilistic analysis Slope stability analysis requires the kinematic and kinetic evaluation. In the kinematic analysis the question is whether slope failure of a rock mass is

possible based on the geometry of discontinuities and slope orientation. Combinations of discontinuity orientations and the slope face are examined to determine if specific failure modes are possible. Analysis is commonly conducted with the aid of stereographic projections of the planar features. This indicates whether kinematic instability is likely and then kinetic stability is evaluated using forces acting on the rock mass. This procedure should be carried out for the probabilistic analysis as well as the deterministic analysis. For deterministic analysis, single fixed values (typically, mean values) of representative orientation and strength parameters are determined and then the kinematic and kinetic analyses are conducted using single representative values. Therefore, the stability analysis is normally carried out with one set of geotechnical parameters. Factor of safety, based on limit equilibrium analysis, is widely used to evaluate slope stability because of its simple calculation and results. However, most input values measured in the field or obtained by laboratory tests and used subsequently to calculate a safety factor show a wide scatter across a significant range rather than being a fixed single value. Thus, each parameter should be considered as a random variable and the analysis involving different values for each parameter will result in different factors of safety. Therefore, the factor of safety itself is a random variable, depending on many input variables. However, the deterministic analysis is unable to account for variation in rock mass properties and conditions. The probabilistic analysis was developed to consider the uncertainty in parameters and results. In the probabilistic approach, the analysis carries out the analysis of random properties of the discontinuities and rock mass. Random properties of input parameters are required for probabilistic analysis and are obtained by statistical evaluation of available geological and geotechnical data. Basic statistical parameters are the mean and coefficient of variation, and the probability density function (PDF) which are obtained during this step. Subsequently, using random properties of input parameters determined previously, probability of failure is evaluated. The Monte Carlo simulation, First Order Second Moment method (FOSM) and Point Estimate Method (PEM) are commonly used, but for the current research, the

a large rockslide occurred in this area after heavy rainfall. 1975). the selection of Fig. from one study to another. 4. Random properties of discontinuity parameters In the following section random properties of geological and geotechnical parameters are determined. On July 1. . off-shelf cover sedimentaries and Paleozoic igneous intrusives. Middle Proterozoic basement to early Paleozoic. Information obtained from sampled data is used to make generalizations about the populations from which the samples were collected (Ang and Tang. Major rock types in this area are a gray. Geological map of the study area. 1975). This is an important procedure needed to obtain accurate and proper stability analysis results. The area is located in the western Blue Ridge province. An investigation for relocation of the highway concluded that wedge failures were the most common phenomena. when two discontinuities forming an unstable wedge. 1997. near the Tennessee border. However. Bedding is distinct and the rock is highly jointed.-J. failed. This province consists of high metamorphic grade. 1). the Brevard fault zone (Wiener and Merschat. The I-40 site has experienced several large landslides during and after construction. In the current study a large number of discontinuity orientations and geometries were measured in the field and their random properties evaluated by the authors.000 m3 of rock were removed during mitigation of this rockslide. The Blue Ridge structural province includes on its western boundary the Great Smoky Mountains and associated thrust faults.232 H. This area along Interstate 40 shows excellent exposures of a series of metasedimentary rocks of Late Pre-Cambrian age (Fig. 1. thin bedded to laminated feldspathic meta-sandsone and a green slate with thin interbeds of fine meta-sandstone. Park et al. / Engineering Geology 79 (2005) 230–250 Monte Carlo simulation was used to calculate probability of failure. and on the east. 3. Geology of the study area The study area consists of an extensive rock cut along Interstate Highway 40 (I-40) in western North Carolina. one of several physiographic provinces which comprise the Appalachian Highlands. More than 100.

approximate friction angle values for siltstone. proposed by Mahtab and Yegulalp (1982). This holds true because according to Barton (1973).2. 1980) used 308 as the internal friction angle for all discontinuities in the area to calculate the factor of safety in their slope stability investigation and analysis. the coefficient of variation is a fairly stable measure of variability. Therefore. Several researchers have suggested a normal distribution or truncated normal distribution for the friction angle (Mostyn and Li. 2004). Also. persistence and strength parameters of discontinuities are considered to be random variables and their random properties are found. can be inferred from previous research. 2000. For a probability analysis. However. Discontinuity strength parameters No detailed shear strength testing was provided for the study area. 2001). 4. Orientation of these sets. Hoek. As it develops. the orientation. a truncated normal distribution is considered for the density distribution of the internal friction angle for the study area. The probability density function of the shear strength parameters. and from an analysis performed by the authors in a nearby study area in North Carolina (Park. 2 shows the results of clustering in this area after applying a weighting factor. the standard deviation or coefficient of variation. this apparently was obtained using a back analysis calculation based on observations made in the field. The algorithm is based on the assumption that a discontinuity set has a significantly greater degree of clustering than would a totally random distribution of orientations. Park et al. Park and West. Even though determined from a simple calculation without shear strength testing. another factor is required to represent the random parameter property to delineate the dispersion of a parameter. Some authors have considered only the geometric parameters of discontinuity and groundwater conditions to be random variables. whereas others also include strength parameters as random variables.-J. has a major influence on the engineering characteristics of the rock mass. this value includes a high level of uncertainty since it was obtained from a simple back calculation without any shear strength tests and only one value suggested for shear strength parameters. this can be confirmed using a chisquare goodness-of-fit test on direct shear strength testing data. A total of 6 discontinuity sets were identified and their represen- . according to Schultze (1975). Orientation data for the study area were collected using the scanline method. According to Glass (1998). Therefore the authors used a value of 10%. the clustering procedure. but the coefficient of variation for the same physical properties of geological materials in many parts of the world has a value within a relatively narrow range (Rethai. A range of friction values is preferred in the stability analysis when significant uncertainty is involved. Nilsen. especially friction angle. weighting factors were applied to the orientation data. 1999. Based on experience by the authors. The principal need is to identify the sets of preferred orientations. we can assume reliable data for the expected standard deviation of a given physical characteristic of a geological material even before performing the laboratory tests (Harr. 2001). internal friction angle data indicated a coefficient of variation of approximately a 10%. lies in a range between 278 and 318. 1987). The coefficient of variation varies for each physical property (or geotechnical parameter) for a geological material. Fig. the major lithology in this study area. in order to reduce sampling bias from the scanline sampling. Thus. 1998). In research by the authors (Park. In this study.H. 1999. even within the same layer. was adopted. Subsequently. 1993. the authors assumed 308 as the mean value of the distribution. 4. 1998. Pathak and Nilsen.1. length. This value corresponds well to a representative coefficient of variation for parameters commonly used in civil engineering design by Harr (1987) and also agrees with the coefficients of variations of the friction angle for soil. The North Carolina Department of Transportation (NCDOT. / Engineering Geology 79 (2005) 230–250 233 random variables can be quite different. to calculate the standard deviation for the friction angle in this area. this value seems to be reasonable. Discontinuity orientation Discontinuity orientation is an important parameter affecting rock slope stability because failure type and kinematic instability are influenced mainly by this feature. spacing. In this research. Park and West. and the degree of clustering within each set.

This distribution is based on the assumption that a population of orientation values is distributed about a btrueQ value (Fisher.234 H. 4. After performing the clustering procedure. / Engineering Geology 79 (2005) 230–250 Fig. 2. However. generation of random values from those asymmetric orientation distributions is difficult to accomplish and subsequently the analyses based on that probabilistic approach are difficult to perform. However. 1993). some different models have been proposed to provide better fits for asymmetric orientation data. the appropriate probability density function was determined for a discontinuity orientation distribution. these models are too complex in their parameter estimation. the Fisher distribution was selected. estimation of the mean trace length is difficult because of bias errors involved in trace length measurements. Bias problems due to the scanline sampling procedure have been discussed by several authors (Baecher and . 163/63 for J3. Results of clustering process of discontinuity normals on equal angle lower hemisphere projection in the study area. In view of its simplicity and flexibility. Owing to its simplicity and flexibility. tative orientations were 217/77 for J1. 183/05 for J2.3. Therefore. Park et al. the distribution provides only an approximation for asymmetric data because it is a symmetrical distribution. However. Furthermore. 227/37 for J5 and 061/ 66 for J6. This assumption is similar to the concept of discontinuity normals being distributed about some true value within a set. 1953). 196/56 for J4. the Fisher distribution is commonly adopted for many probabilistic calculations and that was the case in the current study. Hence. the Fisher distribution provides a valuable model to evaluate discontinuity orientation data (Priest. because of their complexity. Discontinuity trace length Knowledge of discontinuity lengths for a rock mass is important for predicting rock behavior and analysis of rock slopes because discontinuity lengths influence the size of blocks that may be formed.-J. Mean discontinuity length and length distribution provide important data for each joint set which are required for a probabilistic model of rock slope analysis in a jointed rock mass.

0 Discontinuity trace length (m) Fig. but it is difficult to quantify..-J. Approximately 300 data points were sampled with the authors collecting the semitrace length of discontinuities using the detailed scanline method. adoption of semi-trace length measurements as a basis for estimating mean trace lengths can be supported. 1980. Persistence is one of the most significant joint parameters affecting rock mass strength. 1983). the distribution and the mean of semi-trace lengths are the same as the actual trace lengths. Fig. Furthermore. In addition. joint persistence is defined as the fraction of area that is actually discontinuous (Einstein et al. Discontinuity trace length data were obtained by the authors from a field survey on road cuts along Interstate Highway 40. According to Mauldon et al. they noted that if the actual trace lengths have a negative exponential distribution. lengths were reclassified on the basis of discontinuity sets and the mean length for each set was evaluated.0 2. After obtaining this discontinuity length data.1.8 0.8 3. Priest and Hudson.6 2.4 0.3 0. Park et al. Discontinuity persistence 4.5 0. Therefore. 2003). Kulatilake et al.4. The latter approach is based on the commonly used circular scanline or window mapping and the mean trace length is obtained without consideration of the underlying trace length distribution. 1978. (2001). many studies of field measurements have showed that the negative exponential probability density distribution is suitable to represent the discontinuity trace length distribution (Wallis and King.0 Discontinuity trace length (m) (b) Joint set 2 50 Occurence frequency (%) 40 30 20 10 0 0. Regarding the first approach. the persistence value (K ) can be expressed in the limit form: P aDi K ¼ lim i ð1Þ Ao Yl AD . the approaches to circumvent or correct for sampling biases and estimate correct mean trace length of discontinuity are: (1) approach that assumes a particular form for the trace length distribution of the sampled population and (2) methods that are distribution free (Martiz. Baecher. 1981) and several researchers have attempted to provide a procedure to provide an unbiased estimation for the mean length of joint sets. they may also affect joint persistence. 1983. Cruden. which is defined as the areal extent or size of a discontinuity along a plane (ISRM. / Engineering Geology 79 (2005) 230–250 235 Lanney.7 0.2 3. 3. 4. Traditional definition of joint persistence Discontinuity lengths determine the size of the rock blocks that form within a rock mass.9 1.1 0. by selecting a negative exponential distribution as the actual trace length distribution. Priest and Hudson (1981) showed that the corrected probability density distribution of trace lengths would have a negative exponential distribution.4 2. Therefore.6 0. With reference to a joint plane (a plane through the rock mass containing a combination of discontinuities and intact rock regions).H. Histogram of the occurrence frequency in discontinuity trace length.6 4. the distribution and mean value of the actual trace lengths can be obtained..2 0.4. 1978). Consequently. Therefore. 1993.4 0. Moreover. 1981). it is difficult to apply the results of the second approach to the simulation procedure in this study regardless of many advantages for that approach. 1977. by measuring the semi-trace lengths of discontinuities in the field. 40 (a) Joint set 1 Occurence frequency (%) 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 0.8 1. 3 shows the histograms of discontinuity trace length obtained for joint sets 1 and 2.2 1.

The shear strength available for a rock bridge is one to two orders of magnitude greater than the shear strength available on the discontinuity. if the joint is not persistent. from a practical point of view. Fracture mechanics considers rock slope failure to be a result of joint initiation and propagation. A new concept of persistence proposed in this study Hudson and Priest (1983) recognized that two kinds of persistence could be identified: intermittent joints as in Fig. However. 1992). the previous concept of persistence implies that two or more joints occur on the same plane. 4. This causes a significant increase in shear strength. and random properties must be evaluated to characterize joint persistence. 4. This is because rock exposures are small and only two-dimensional. so the previous persistence concept is based on the concept of intermittent joints.. (1983) suggested. the possibility of a 100% persistent discontinuity on the shear planes is quite low under field conditions. / Engineering Geology 79 (2005) 230–250 in which D is a region of the plane with area A D and a Di is the area of the i th joint in D . In addition. Consequently. because every joint in a set does not have the same value and these values are uncertain. 1983). it appears that intermittent joints in Fig. 4(a) require that the planes contain a patchwork of discontinuities and intact rock regions through the rock mass. That is. and l Si is the length of the i th joint segment in S . However. as Einstein et al. However. so it is not possible to consider the persistence as a random variable in the probabilistic analysis.2. 4. those approaches consider the persistence as a fixed value. . 4(a) are (a) (b) (c) Fig. As discussed previously. As Einstein et al. Therefore. Traces of (a) intermittent. 100% persistence is assumed. Singh and Sun (1989) and Scavia (1990) applied a fracture mechanics concept to evaluate the stability of rock slopes which do not have a 100% persistence failure plane.4. Intermittent joints in Fig. In practice. Therefore. Importance of discontinuity persistence The reason that discontinuity persistence is important in slope stability analysis is because of its major effect on rock mass strength. this approach has the limitation that the factor of safety defined as the stress intensity factor indicates crack stability. (b) impersistent and (c) persistent joints (after Hudson and Priest. persistence should be considered as a random variable. Park et al. Kemeny (2003) proposed a fracture mechanics model in slope stability. a new approach is requisite for the probabilistic analysis. but not the overall stability of the slope. the joint tip stress intensity factor is the governing parameter with respect to rock slope stability and the factor of safety is defined in terms of stress intensity factor (Whittaker et al. 4(b). Einstein et al.236 H. joint persistence can be used to estimate the strength of a rock mass against sliding along a given plane.4.-J. (1983) suggested that persistence can only be roughly quantified by observing the discontinuity trace length on a rock exposure surface. It is impossible in practice to measure the discontinuity area accurately in a field survey. (1983) and West (1996) suggested. In addition. 4(a) and impersistent discontinuities as in Fig. The serious problem concerning persistence is that its extent is difficult to measure because direct mapping of discontinuities within a rock mass is not possible. which is considered the time dependent degradation of rock bridge cohesion. joint persistence can be expressed as a limit length ratio along a given line on a joint plane in terms of trace length: P K ¼ lim i LS Y l lSi LS ð 2Þ where L S is the length of the straight-line segment S .3. failure occurs through the rock bridge.

4. However. 1992). Consequently. 1965). Park et al. 1994). Therefore. That is. 1999). 4(b). determined by slope geometry. mean and standard deviation of spacing for each set.H. the intermittent discontinuity should be treated as persistent. Then this value is multiplied by the probability of slope failure with the premise that joints are fully persistent. continuous across the region of interest. This is the probability that a fully persistent discontinuity exists.5. at least for the purpose of mechanical analysis. the probability that the joint length is long enough to form a block capable of sliding is evaluated. Although mean discontinuity spacing provides a direct measure of spacing data. a discontinuity is considered to occur within the same plane. That is. joint orientation and joint dimension (Fig. . Mauldon (1994) concluded that intermittent joints would seem to imply existence of weakness planes through the rock mass. which is also proposed by Mauldon (1994).e. i. This is because considerably more data are provided for this adjacent area than are available for the I-40 site (Park. a large number of individual joint length values are generated. Discontinuity spacing In rock slope stability analysis. based on the impersistent joint concept in Fig.e. Measurement of joint set spacing causes sampling bias since scanlines are not positioned perpendicular to discontinuities because of the limited rock face exposure (Terzaghi. In our field survey for this study. To this end. spacing of discontinuity sets is part of the representation of geometric characteristics for each discontinuity set. In order to determine the appropriate spacing distribution. this approach overcomes the limitation of a conservative analysis. Geometrical feature of sliding dimension and joint on sliding plane. Then each value of the generated joint length is compared to the sliding dimension and the probability that the joint length is equal to or greater than the maximum sliding length is calculated (Fig. This approach assumes that only one joint forms the sliding surface (multiple joints do not line up end to end) and that this joint is not offset from the sliding surface.-J. This is quite conservative approach in stability analysis. / Engineering Geology 79 (2005) 230–250 237 geologically unlikely (Mauldon. P½rock slope failureŠ ¼ P½rock slope failure j fully persistent jointŠ  P½fully persistent joint existsŠ ð3Þ The assumption of the fully persistent joint in rock slope stability is common in deterministic analysis as well as the probabilistic analysis. 5. the authors collected approximately 300 values of discontinuity data using a borehole sampling method (approximately 60% of 300 data) and the detailed scanline method (40% of 300 data) at the Interstate 26 site in northwestern North Carolina near the Tennessee border. are evaluated using the corrected data. and then the probability density function for discontinuity spacing was derived from these data. but locally separated to form visible joints. To utilize this new approach. several previous studies have tried to represent the distribution of measured spacing data by statistical analysis and description with the spacing data considered as a random variable. On the basis of Length of joint on sliding plane Maximum sliding dimension Fig. a new approach is proposed in this research which accounts for persistence in spite of the limitations of measurement. using information on statistical parameters and the probability distribution of discontinuity length considered previously. i. 5). 5). Joint persistence is described in this study as a function of the length of individual joints and the maximum sliding dimension. the correction of the sampling bias caused by a inclined scanline orientation is accomplished using the acute angle between the scanline orientation and the orientation of the line normal to the mean orientation for the joint set in question (Giani. Statistical parameters.

based on their goodnessof-fit tests.70–3.7233 3.3502 0.1535 4.1391 0. (2003) suggest that the lognormal probability density distribution was appropriate.0912 0.0683 0. Table 1 shows the results of chisquare tests for joints in the Interstate 26.6403 1.1183 0.5855 12.35–11.20–12.90–13.30–17.0683 0.60 14.1625 0.10–6.0383 0.0287 29. Probabilistic analysis of rock slope stability 5.0383 0.1028 2.1391 0.6025 3.10 6.75 13.6893 4.90 12.6897 0.00 2. the first being kinematic Table 1 Chi-square test results for relative goodness-of-fit in spacing data in Interstate 26.8904 0.8904 0.2640 0.6353 0.70 2.80 7.15–1.0511 0. Analysis procedure After the random properties of discontinuity parameters are defined. Table 2 for data from Interstate 26. the lognormal probability density distribution was used as the distribution model to represent the random property of discontinuity spacing.00–1.2861 0.2169 0.25 5. The literature also proposes the use of a lognormal probability distribu- tion for discontinuity spacing. in particular.2056 0.0511 0.1217 0. Park et al.0003 8.45 15.15 0.5429 0.0752 27.1551 11.-J.80–8.1756 1. which are the two distribution models commonly used for spacing evaluation.4334 0.55 3. The Monte Carlo simulation was used for the probabilistic analysis in this study.55–4.0752 51.5754 1.4260 Lognormal 0.2896 2.0251 0. Rouleau and Gale (1985). The Monte Carlo technique is frequently applied to evaluate the probability of failure of a mechanical system.2896 6. the lognormal distribution is the better of the two.9203 0.25–6.6466 0. Area B shows similar results.2500 1.9036 2.2896 0.85 1.1900 1. chi-Square goodness-of-fit tests were performed for lognormal and negative exponential distributions.2286 0.60–15.1647 0.1647 0.0870 0.1.238 H.65 8.1012 0.3515 Lognormal 0.1012 0.5163 0.8924 0.5451 15.9808 0.15–18. This is because those theoretical distributions are bounded at zero and are skewed to the right and those characteristics are similar to the properties of the spacing distribution. The simulation procedure proceeds in two steps.0024 1.5855 2. Results show that both the lognormal distribution and the exponential distribution appear to be valid models for spacing at the 5% significance level.9580 4.40 4.2861 2. Area A.35 10.2101 0.50–10.9238 2.5429 5.5263 1.9203 0.65–9.2286 0.1625 0. Therefore. Sen and Kazi (1984) and Kulatilake et al.5341 3.1713 0.2594 0.3667 (n i À e i )2 / e i Exponential 2.05–12. the probabilistic analysis is accomplished.50 9.0870 0.15 17.4725 .5451 0.1964 0.1964 0. Area A Interval Observed frequency (n i ) 0 18 5 7 11 4 1 1 1 0 0 0 2 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 Theoretical frequency (e i ) Exponential 0–0.6893 0.6897 0.3411 0.00 N 18.5748 7.05 12.75–14.1183 0. / Engineering Geology 79 (2005) 230–250 data collected for I-26.0033 8. P because the calculated (n i À e i )2 / e i value for lognormal distribution is smaller than that for the exponential distribution.00 1. However.1217 0.7346 0.6633 1. 1993).4732 0.0287 51.2658 0. 5.9727 0.3867 0.30 16.40–5.95–7.0912 0.20 11.95 6.8264 0. when the direct integration is not practical or when the integration equation is difficult to solve (Mostyn and Li.45–16.2360 0.4024 9.85–2.

0 15. Park et al.0 5.0 17.9850 0. and subsequently a calculation of probability of the kinematic instability is not easy accomplished.5386 1.1976 2.6863 0. Some years ago McMahon (1971) and Herget (1978) proposed a probabilistic kinematic analysis approach which can evaluate the probability of kinematic instability using stereographic projection.0322 0.0 4.0–2. it is determined whether the rock body is able to move or not.0–18.0031 0. If the kinematic analysis indicates that the geometric condition is potentially unstable.0395 0.0671 0.1358 0.3207 0.7770 1. the procedure did not provide a closed form equation and was limited only to the .1300 0.1683 3. the great number of stereographic projections is required.0–3.4742 2.H.2. then the kinetic stability is assessed by the limit equilibrium method.0792 0. However.0 7.0–8.9985 Lognormal 17. if the Monte Carlo simulation is utilized.0–15.0–10.1848 0.0 16.0 N 18.0011 41.0998 0. However.2323 0.0210 1.0091 0.0998 0.9442 5.0 14.0 10.0614 0. / Engineering Geology 79 (2005) 230–250 Table 2 Chi-square test results for relative goodness-of-fit in spacing data in Interstate 26.0157 0.4681 2. For planar failure.6653 0.0–17. only kinetic instability was evaluated and it was assume to be the probability of failure for the rock slope in some previous studies. the kinematic analysis is relatively easy since clear criteria exist such that the dip direction of discontinuity must be within 208 of dip direction of the slope face.0–4.6653 0.0490 0. both kinematic and kinetic analyses are required to analyze the geometry and strength of discontinuities.0269 0.0–6.4000 0.9823 0.0461 0.1326 0. Difficulty in performing kinematic analysis is considered as one reason why it is omitted.0 9.5246 10.0309 239 Lognormal 0. Evaluation for probability of slope failure To check the stability of rock slope systems. In a complete study this should be accomplished for both probabilistic analysis as well as for deterministic analysis.0 3.0003 0.1300 0. The large number of stereographic projection is needed for each set of parameter combinations and the input values for each simulation must be measured from the stereoplot if the Monte Carlo simulation is utilized.8195 0.0011 16.4000 0. Area B Interval Observed frequency (n i ) 16 11 7 4 3 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Theoretical frequency (e i ) Exponential 0.0157 0.9265 10.0031 0.0018 0.0–9.0269 0.0461 0.3207 0.0–7.0 13.9513 3. especially for wedge failure analysis.1358 10.1721 0.2070 0.8426 (n i À e i )2 / e i Exponential 0.0322 0.0 17.0–5.0053 0. 5. in order to obtain the input values for each simulation. This comprises the second step.0–1. examining kinematic instability of a rock body defined by discontinuities.0 11.0018 0.0091 0.2323 3.0778 0.0–11.6230 1.0264 12.0614 0.7132 0.2124 5.1777 0. the kinematic analysis is commonly accomplished using stereographic projections. However.0133 0.0 6.0053 0.0–16.0–14.2331 0. The stereographic projection method is not suited to conducting computational and repeated calculations used in the Monte Carlo simulation which is the typical procedure for probability analysis of wedge failure.0 1.0778 0.2331 0.6863 0. Based on discontinuity orientation.0–13.0816 0. That is.0490 0.0264 41.0–12.-J.0395 0.0 8.4545 0.0 12.6056 analysis.0 2.4545 0.6250 0. This is because the closed form of kinematic analysis is not provided.

the probability of kinetic instability is defined as Pkn=km ¼ Nf Nm ð 9Þ where N f is the number of iterations that a wedge has factor of safety less than one. a step-by-step procedure for evaluating the slope failure probability was used. In all. Therefore. the overall probability of slope failure will be Pf ¼ P½kinematically unstableŠ  P½kinetic unstablejkinematic unstableŠ ð 6Þ 6. Deterministic parameters are those considered to be known and having a single value for all sliding blocks. the probability of kinematic instability was evaluated using the apparent dip of slope face. Input parameters In the probabilistic analysis. test results and evaluation of the measured data. the probability of slope failure is Pf ¼ Pkm  Pkn=km ð 7Þ The probability of kinematic instability is defined as: Pkm ¼ Nm NT ð 8Þ where N m is the number of iterations which is kinematically unstable and N T is total number of iterations. the orientation and height of the cut slope and rock density were considered to be deterministic parameters. Results of analysis 6. in which a number of iterations form a block or wedge that can kinematically move. Therefore. Therefore. Procedural steps were accomplished separately for kinematic stability and kinetic stability in the probabilistic analysis. pore water pressure in the discontinuity is considered to be a random variable since the groundwater table level varies. This value was added to the friction angle of the discontinuity. Park et al. the probability of failure is Pf ¼ Pkm  Pkn=km ¼ Nm Nf  NT Nm ð10Þ where e is the dip angle of the line of intersection between two discontinuities. not in the dip direction of slope face (Park and West. respectively.-J. in this study a simple equation for checking a kinematic instability for rock wedges was used (Park and West. In this study. In addition. That is. For the probabilistic parameters.1. geometric parameters. Once the kinematically unstable blocks or wedges have been identified and evaluated as kinematically unstable. in the current study. roughness of a discontinuity was considered as a deterministic parameter. 2003). those probabilistic parameters are assumed to be independent. Gu ¨ nther. such as length and spacing. b i and b s are the dip directions of the lines of intersection and slope face. / Engineering Geology 79 (2005) 230–250 planar condition. the kinetic probability is evaluated as a conditional probability which has a premise that the block is kinematically unstable. X is the dip angles of the upper ground surface and a apparent is the apparent dip of the slope face in the dip direction of the intersection line. 2001. In addition. joint parameters were considered to be probabilistic in nature. Therefore. 2003). this procedure assesses the probability of kinematic instability. Also. 2001. it was measured in the field for each discontinuity using a disk clinometer. X b e b aapparent aapparent ¼ tanÀ1 ½tana cosðbi À bs ފ ð 4Þ ð 5Þ only when the block is kinematically unstable. input parameters can be subdivided into two groups by their randomness: deterministic and probabilistic parameters. Because the kinetic analysis is performed . However. the probability density function and the values of statistical parameters for random variables are chosen on the basis of physical properties. In the current study.240 H. However. research results involving the accurate evaluation of covariance between random parameters in a rock mass are limited and some This concept was also proposed by Einstein (1996). The covariance between random parameters plays an important role in probabilistic analysis. Gu ¨ nther. Roughness is a potentially important component of shear strength and therefore. In the current study. and shear strength parameters were considered to be probabilistic parameters. joint orientation.

621 0. Therefore. joint sets 4 and 5 were found to be unstable having a factor of safety of 0.8% despite the fact that J1 was found to be stable in the deterministic analysis. factors of safety for those joint sets are computed and found to be less than 1.0 J6 061/66 106 30 3 1 1 2. 6. In Table 4. Li and White. Park et al. That is. the probability of kinematic instability calculated is 34. Parameters used in this study are listed in Table 3.018 0 0 0.5 J3 163/63 29 30 3 1 1 0. In many cases. the word dstableT indicates that the kinematic analysis found the set to be kinematically stable and subsequently. the same performance function suggested by Hoek and Bray (1981) was utilized. respectively. 1983. For the deterministic analysis. J4 and J5 have a possibility of failure. the probabilistic analysis for the planar failure shows different results.D. Especially for joint set 1.6 0 indicate they are kinematically unstable and subsequently. In contrast.2.56 J1 217/77 42 30 3 1 1 1.9 0. kinematic analyses for J4 and J5 Table 3 Input values for I-40 area (a) Input for slope geometry Orientation of slope (dip direction/dip) 210/75 (b) Input for discontinuity properties Set I.014 0. In Fig. random properties of random variable are considered and the probability of failure is evaluated using the simulation procedure. / Engineering Geology 79 (2005) 230–250 241 researchers propose that the assumption of independence is conservative (Cherubini et al. all joint sets except J4 and J5 are kinematically stable. Results for planar failure Table 4 shows the results of the deterministic and probabilistic analyses of planar failure for each joint set.6 J2 183/5 53 30 3 1 1 3.509 42. Based on results of the deterministic analysis.-J. 6.759 0 0. of safety Kinematic Kinetic Total J1 J2 J3 J4 J5 J6 Stable Stable Stable 0.43 J4 196/56 119 30 3 0. In the deterministic analysis.69.5 1 4.29 0. However.006 5. in order to show that the length of bedding was much greater than that of other joint sets. the mean orientation of J1 does not show a possibility of kinematic instability because the mean dip angle for J1 is greater than the slope cut angle and the join will not daylight.. All other discontinuity lengths for discontinuity sets were determined in the field. when the variation in orienta- Height of slope (m) 34 Unit weight of rocks (t/m3) 2.29 and 0. Input data for slope geometry are included in Table 3(a) and the input for discontinuity properties is given in Table 3(b).5% and the probability of kinetic instability is 1. but in this study. However.345 0 0 0. In order to compare the results between the deterministic and probabilistic analysis. except for J5 which was identified as a bedding plane. bedding plane lengths are assumed to be infinite.0087 18. 1987).69 Stable 0. mean values of each random variable are used and the factor of safety is calculated for each set. According to the probability of planar failure in Table 4.7 PDF Fisher Normal Exponential Lognormal . A point to note here is the length of joint set 5. the histogram of safety factor is the result of calculation using the repeated simulation procedure.D Mean orientation (dip direction/dip) Fisher constant Mean friction angle (deg) S.3 0 0 0.H. the kinetic analysis was not conducted.5 J5 227/37 36 30 3 60 0 1. it was assigned a value of 60 m.671 0 Average volume of possible block (m3) 0.D of friction angle Mean length (m) Roughness (deg) Mean spacing (m) Table 4 Comparison of results for the deterministic analysis and the probabilistic analysis at cut slope angle of 758 Joint Factor Probability of failure set I. the analysis indicates that joint sets J1.

0 2.0 2.15 0. 67.15 0.00 0.5 1.9% is lower than that for J5.0 Factor of safety Factor of safety (c) Set 5 at 75 degree slope angle 0.40 0. 6.00 0.5 2.30 (b) Set 4 at 75 degree slope angle Frequency Frequency 0. Consequently.15 0.9%.5 3.0 Factor of safety Fig.1%.5 2.05 0.15 0.10 0.25 0. / Engineering Geology 79 (2005) 230–250 (a) Set 1 at 75 degree slope angle 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.-J.35 0. Discontinuity trace length is a possible .5 3.5 3.25 0.0 Factor of safety 0.0 1. 50.4% is much lower than the probability of kinetic instability for J5.0 2. many of scattered orientations have the possibility of kinematic instability even though the mean orientation does not yield a kinematically unstable condition. the probability of slope failure for J4.25 0.5 2.00 0.20 0. 0.10 0.10 0.0 1.5 3.35 0.20 0. Therefore.15 0.0 2.00 0.0 1. J5 represents a greater risk and more a dangerous condition.05 0.0 1.0 0.5 1.25 0.0 0.40 0.05 0.10 0.5 1.05 0.20 Factor of safety (e) Set 5 at 50 degree slope angle Frequency 0. the deterministic analysis based on a fixed representative orientation of discontinuities fails to show the possibility of kinematic instability. Park et al.30 0.5 3.5 1.25 0. In addition.20 0.20 (d) Set 4 at 50 degree slope angle Frequency 0.242 H.5 2. Histogram of factor of safety calculated in probabilistic analysis for planar failure.00 Frequency 0.10 0. based on probabilistic analysis.0 2. The probability of kinetic instability for J4 of 1.05 0. tion is considered.

the total probability of slope failure is reduced somewhat because of the multiplication effect. ranging from 0 0 0 0. This is used when the probability of the kinetic instability is evaluated. which is a bedding plane. For joint 5.053 0.1 0 . However.9 m3 for J4 and 42.61 Stable 0 0 0 0. respectively. J5 and J6) have small probabilities of kinematic instability. For this.1 m3. Regarding a specific aspect of probabilistic analysis. since the cut slopes were excavated more than 40 years ago and several large and many small slides occurred in this area. However. Table 5 includes results of both deterministic and probabilistic analyses for the 508 slope angle. Therefore. in practice. joint 4 is designated to be stable because the joint will not daylight kinematically.3 m3 for J1.2 m3 and the mean volume for joint set 5 is reduced from 42. the risk of a large slope failure is significantly reduced. if each block whose dimension is calculated by randomly selected discontinuity parameter is kinematically and kinetically unstable. is evaluated using discontinuity orientation data and cut slope geometry. Therefore. the mean volume of blocks for each case of possible failure.663 0 0 0 0 0. both probabilities of kinematic and kinetic instability are zero. Mean volumes of possible blocks are 5. some joint combinations indicated as kinematically stable by the deterministic analysis are shown to be kinematic unstable using probabilistic analysis. A Table 5 Comparison of results for the deterministic analysis and the probabilistic analysis at cut slope angle of 508 Joint Factor Probability of failure set I.444 19. 7). has a higher kinetic instability probability than J1 whose mean length is only 0. the probabilities of kinematic instability for J4 and J5 are reduced from 62. Hence. Therefore. In addition. a bedding plane with a mean length of 60 m. J3 and J6.6 m3 to 19. joint set 5. Based on observation of the authors the cut slope angle is now approximately 508 rather than the original 758. do the results of the deterministic analysis for kinematic stability agree with those of the probabilistic analysis (Table 6.0007 3. a plane indicated as a failure possibility by NCDOT (1980). For joint set 4.D. the mean volume is reduced from 18. of safety Kinematic Kinetic Total J1 J2 J3 J4 J5 J6 Stable Stable Stable Stable 0. the daylight point (where possible failure surface meets the slope face) is randomly selected from slope face.3% and 66.69. J4. However. the planar failure on joint set 5 will occur only when the lateral extent of potential failure mass is isolated by a lateral release surface. however.5 m. discontinuity length was considered to be a form of persistence. Results for wedge failure Relative to wedge failure. joint set 1 is stable for a 508 cut slope. which is a prerequisite for planar failure to occur (Hoek and Bray. but the probabilities of kinetic instability in both joint sets are unchanged. J5. J2 and J4. 18. Considering the results of probabilistic analysis. exhibits a high possibility of plane failure and the size of the failure block will also be great. Those combinations (J1 and J2. Park et al. They are kinematically stable based on the deterministic analysis and have zero probability of kinematically instability in the probabilistic analysis.9% to 5. the slope cut has become much flatter. Then the mean volume of possible blocks is evaluated. Therefore. the safety factor is not much different from the previous value. In this study. As the slope angle is reduced. 1981).3. for only two joint set combinations (J2 and J3 and J2 and J6).6% failure probability and 18. a maximum 19.3%. Fig. without further investigation of the shear strength.9 m3 to 3. / Engineering Geology 79 (2005) 230–250 243 reason. Representative orientation data for joint set 4 are no longer kinematically unstable because the dip of the discontinuity is greater than the 508 slope dip angle.669 0 Average volume of possible block (m3) deterministic analysis of the current slope shows joint set 4 is now stable following slope flattening. 6. volumes of possible rock blocks are also reduced. That is.6 m3 for J5. J1 and J5. J2 and J5.1% and 75. However.9 m3 volumes for block size. the volumes of each block are calculated using the Hoek and Bray (1981) equation. Using this slope angle. shows in the current study.014 0.-J.2 0. the factor of safety and probability of failure were evaluated again and the results compared to the previous calculations. In addition. 0. That is. reducing the slope angle does not significantly change the factor of safety for joint set 5.H.

05 0.10 (d) Combination of joint sets 1 and 5 Frequency 0.01 0.02 0.06 0.05 0.-J.15 0.25 (b) Combination of joint sets 1 and 3 Frequency 0.04 0.02 0.04 0.08 0.16 0.04 0.20 0.00 1 2 3 4 5 Factor of safety Factor of safety (g) Combination of joint sets 2 and 5 0.02 0.04 0.07 0.00 1 2 3 4 5 (f) Combination of joint sets 2 and 4 Frequency Frequency 0.03 0.01 0.244 H.00 Frequency 1 2 3 4 5 0.06 0.04 0. 7.18 0.30 0.05 0.02 0. Histogram of factor of safety calculated in probabilistic analysis for wedge failure at 758 slope angle. / Engineering Geology 79 (2005) 230–250 (a) Combination of joint sets 1 and 2 0.00 1 2 3 4 5 Factor of safety Factor of safety (c) Combination of joint sets 1 and 4 0.03 0.01 Frequency 1 2 3 4 5 Factor of safety Factor of safety Fig.12 0.04 0.04 0.00 (h) Combination of joint sets 3 and 4 Frequency 0.02 0.02 0.01 0.02 0.00 1 2 3 4 5 Factor of safety Factor of safety (e) Combination of joint sets 1 and 6 0.03 0.06 0.00 Frequency 1 2 3 4 5 0.06 0.03 0.14 0.10 0.05 0.05 0. .10 0. Park et al.00 1 2 3 4 5 0.07 0.03 0.05 0.01 0.12 0.08 0.20 0.

03 0. However. J1 and J4.02 0.06 0. four different kinetic probabilities can be evaluated for four different sliding modes because the scattered orientations of discontinuities can produce these different sliding modes for combinations of the two discontinuities.16 0.9% to 93.04 0. Park et al.1% to 3. J3 and J4.18 0.14 0. a sliding mode for wedge failure is determined and a factor of safety value is calculated using a deterministic analysis.10 0. By contrast.07 0. 0.05 0. the joint set combinations shown to be kinematically unstable in the deterministic analysis show high probabilities of kinematic instability in the probabilistic analysis.10 0. For the kinetic analysis.7%.08 0.08 0.02 Frequency 1 2 3 4 5 Factor of safety Factor of safety (m) Combination of joint sets 5 and 6 0.00 1 2 3 4 5 Factor of safety Fig. That is. 7 (continued ).00 1 2 3 4 5 0.-J.02 0. J1 and J6.01 0. J4 and J6) show high failure probabilities ranging from 18.10 0. .16 0. J4 and J5.04 0.H.10 0.06 0.08 0. in the probabilistic approach.12 0.08 0.06 0.12 0.14 0.00 0.02 0.12 (j) Combination of joint sets 3 and 6 Frequency Frequency 1 2 3 4 5 0.02 0.04 0.04 0.06 0. J3 and J5.5%.08 0.04 0.06 Frequency 0.00 (l) Combination of joint sets 4 and 6 Frequency 0. unstable joint combinations (J1 and J3. For example. / Engineering Geology 79 (2005) 230–250 245 (i) Combination of joint sets 3 and 5 0.00 1 2 3 4 5 Factor of safety Factor of safety (k) Combination of joint sets 4 and 5 0.

013 0.0045 0.1% possibility of sliding with contact on plane 2. 0.561 0 0.738 0.041 J1 J1 J1 J1 J1 J2 J2 J2 J2 J3 J3 J3 J4 J4 J5 J2 J3 J4 J5 J6 J3 J4 J5 J6 J4 J5 J6 J5 J6 J6 . J1 and J5. and this sliding mode has the highest probability of kinetic instability ( P f = 56. refer to the sliding mode where the factor of safety for each joint set combination is evaluated using a deterministic analysis.3%.002 0 0.002 0 0 0. 0.014 0.041 m3.36 Stable FS3 = 0.011 0. Park et al. However.558 0. with a high probability of failure. the average block volume is approximately 82.001 0 0.0067 0 0.246 H.514 0 0. a total of eight combinations show kinematic instability.002 0. When the slope angle is assumed to be 508. based on probabilistic analysis.265 0.309 0. with contact on plane 2. equals 0.1% possibility of sliding without contact (that is. However. the results of a deterministic analysis are much different from the previous deterministic results (Table 7.019 0. that is.012 0.554 Plane 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0. Comparing these probabilities with the average volume of the failure block.009 No contact 0. In fact.011 m3. 1. J3 and J4.13 1.004 0.86 m3.023 0.5% and 69.0068 Average volume of possible wedge (m3) 0. the probabilities of total kinetic instability (that is.1%) of all the other sliding modes.004 0.0037 0 0.193 Both planes 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.0074 0.0034 0. J3 and J5 and J4 and J5 combinations are still high.036 0.095 0. However. In Table 6.011 0. This finding for the site is verified by the results of the current research. As can be observed in Table 7. for the J3 and J5 combination.025 0.004 0.38 0.8%.005 0 0 0 0 0.001 0. based on the probabilistic analysis. the combinations of J1 and J3.0014 0 0 Total probability of failure 0 0. several small slides were reported each year and the large rockslide that occurred on July 1. 2 Factor of safety Stable FS1 = 0 FS3 = 0.002 0 5. 1997 was a wedge failure formed by J3 and J5.86 82.36 which is a sliding mode in contact on plane 2. the contact is lost on both planes since water pressures on both planes is greater than the normal force) on both planes. 68. J4 and J5 and J5 and J6 which are stable in the deterministic analysis have three or four different sliding modes with high probabilities of failure.33. 8).191 0. the combinations of J2 and J5.010 0. in the J3 and J5 combination. the sum of four probabilities of kinetic instability based on a sliding mode) for J2 and J5. The sliding mode with the highest probability of kinetic instability among those four different sliding modes shows the lowest factor of safety.005 0 0 0. Only the J4 and J5 combination is found to be kinematically unstable and the factor of safety for the sliding mode.015 0.095 m3.-J.0029 0 0 0. there is 56.38 m3.471 0.046 0.72 m3 and 0. Fig.39 15. the deterministic analysis has a factor of safety of 0.0004 0. The other combinations show kinematically stable conditions. J4 and J5 and J5 and J6 indicate the possibility of small volume blocks.4 0.8%.32 Stable FS3 = 0.935 0.001 0 0. These results agree with the failure history for slopes in this area. there is 19. respectively.72 0.331 0 0. showing high probabilities of failure for several small slides and for a large wedge slide. Also.43 Stable Stable Stable Stable FS3 = 0.338 0 0.037 0. 75.023 0.006 0. 6.09 FS3 = 0. respectively.36 for the wedge sliding with contact on plane 2.374 0. As the results in Table 7 show. According to Glass (1998). even though the probabilities are reduced significantly from the previous probabilities on the 758 cut slope. 1 Set no.011 0. we observe that J5 plays an important role in kinetic Table 6 Results of wedge failure for the deterministic analysis and the probabilistic analysis in I-40 area at 758 cut slope Set no.244 0. the deterministic analysis shows a factor of safety of 0.189 0 0.35 0 6.038 0. For example. / Engineering Geology 79 (2005) 230–250 for the J3 and J5 combination in Table 6.0125 0.33 FS1 = 0 Stable Probability of failure Kinematic 0. 55.012 Plane 2 0.

That is.33. / Engineering Geology 79 (2005) 230–250 247 (a) Combination of joint sets 1 and 3 0.04 0.02 0.04 Frequency 1 2 3 4 5 Factor of safety Factor of safety Fig. . as shown previously for planar failure.02 0.14 0.H. instability.14 0.00 1 2 3 4 5 0.05 0.00 (f) Combination of joint sets 4 and 5 Frequency 0.00 1 2 3 4 5 Factor of safety Factor of safety (e) Combination of joint sets 3 and 5 0.20 0.07 0. 2003).06 0.16 0.-J.08 0.04 0.18 0. However.04 0. is the same as the value for the 508 slope angle in Table 7.10 0.04 0.06 0.06 0. This indicates that the effective normal forces acting on both planes are reduced and these values become smaller than the pore water pressures on the sliding planes as the slope angle is reduced (Duzgun et al.06 0.06 0.14 0.15 0.25 (b) Combination of joint sets 1 and 5 0.10 0. 0.12 (d) Combination of joint sets 3 and 4 0.16 0. Histogram of factor of safety calculated in probabilistic analysis for wedge failure at 508 slope angle.02 0.10 0.12 0. the decrease in slope angle does not affect the distribution and values of factor of safety.03 0.05 Frequency Frequency 1 2 3 4 5 0.00 1 2 3 4 5 0.00 0.08 0.10 0. 8. Park et al.10 0.02 0.01 0. there is an interesting conclusion: as the slope angle is reduced.00 1 2 3 4 5 Factor of safety Factor of safety (c) Combination of joint sets 2 and 5 0.08 0.12 0.30 0. the probabilities of kinetic failure when contact on both planes is lost actually increase..02 0. This can be confirmed by noting that the factor for safety for the combination of J4 and J5 at the 758 slope angle in Table 6. However.35 0. probabilities of total kinetic instability are the same as the probabilities for the 758 cut slope.08 Frequency Frequency 0.

Therefore.434 0 0.248 H. both kinematic and kinetic conditions were examined.015 0. random properties for geometric and strength parameters of discontinuities play a critical role in the probabilistic analysis. Both conditions were evaluated simultaneously. showing that the probability of a large volume failure was significantly reduced after the cut slope angle was flattened by slope processes.6 m3.001 0 0. Summary and conclusions Rock slope stability is highly dependent on discontinuity characteristics.012 0. They were combined to evaluate the overall probability of slope failure.220 0 0.683 0 0.004 0 0 0. In this study. the proposed approach expresses the probability that the joint length is equal to or greater than the maximum sliding length. 7. Comparisons between the deterministic analysis and probabilistic analysis showed that results of the probabilistic method yields significantly different results from those of the deterministic analysis.17 0 0 0.003 0. was proposed. In addition.017 0. based on a fixed value for discontinuity and slope parameters.001 0. / Engineering Geology 79 (2005) 230–250 Table 7 Results of wedge failure for the deterministic analysis and the probabilistic analysis in I-40 area at 508 cut slope Set no.33 Stable Stable Probability of failure Kinematic 0 0. 1 Set no.78 m3. This is significant because field determination of persistence is not possible on a practical basis.003 0.001 0 0 0 0 Total probability of failure 0 0 0 0.314 3.332 0 0 No contact 0 0.-J. and the random properties of each parameter have an important effect in the probabilistic analysis. as expected. The proposed approach simply uses joint length data rather than the persistence value.002 0 0 0.002 0 0 0.231 0 0 Plane 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Plane 2 0 0. In some cases the deterministic analysis. which is multiplied by the probability of failure of the rock slope.467 0 0 Both planes 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0. In particular. This probabilistic analysis was applied to a study area on I-40 in western North Carolina. length and spacing were measured in the field and their random properties determined on the basis of physical considerations and goodness-of-fit testing.441 0 0.0047 0.003 0. which can be utilized effectively in the probabilistic approach. did not indicate a slope failure condition whereas the . the new concept of persistence.78 0 0. Among seven combinations which are analyzed as stable by the deterministic but unstable in the probabilistic analysis in Table 7.22 0 0 0. The Monte Carlo simulation technique was utilized to analyze the possibility of failure for planar and wedge features in the study area.001 0.0014 0 0 0 0. Park et al. Therefore. discontinuity parameters including orientation. Then the probabilities of the two conditions were calculated separately.011 0.005 0. volumes are reduced significantly from those of the 758 slope. the volume for the J3 and J5 combination is reduced from 82.481 0 0. Many combinations become stable and the mean volumes of possible wedge are reduce as slope angle decreases. 2 Factor of safety Stable Stable Stable Stable Stable Stable Stable Stable Stable Stable Stable Stable FS3 = 0.004 0.460 0 0.232 0 0 Average volume of possible wedge (m3) 0 0.190 0. To evaluate rock slope stability.118 0.005 0.008 0.0381 0 0 J1 J1 J1 J1 J1 J2 J2 J2 J2 J3 J3 J3 J4 J4 J5 J2 J3 J4 J5 J6 J3 J4 J5 J6 J4 J5 J6 J5 J6 J6 Regarding the average volume of a possible block for the 508 slope angle.39 m3 to 3. the latter being evaluated assuming a fully persistent joint.320 0 0. This is because examination of kinetic condition is conducted only after the kinematic failure is indicated.0006 0 0. six joint combinations have mean volume less than 0.

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