Geotextiles and Geomembranes 28 (2010) 12–22

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Geotextiles and Geomembranes
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/geotexmem

Centrifuge modeling of geotextile-reinforced cohesive slopes
Yun Hu, Ga Zhang*, Jian-Min Zhang, C.F. Lee
State Key Laboratory of Hydroscience and Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, PR China

a r t i c l e i n f o
Article history: Received 20 January 2009 Received in revised form 18 June 2009 Accepted 18 September 2009 Available online 31 October 2009 Keywords: Slope Cohesive soil Reinforcement Geotextile Centrifuge modeling

a b s t r a c t
Geosynthetics are widely used to reinforce slopes due to their successful performance and economical efficiency. A series of centrifuge model tests was conducted in order to investigate the behavior of the geotextile-reinforced cohesive slopes and to compare their behavior to unreinforced slopes. The displacement history of the slopes was measured using an image analysis system. The failure process of an unreinforced slope can be categorized into three stages: (1) uniform deformation stage; (2) strain localization stage; and (3) post-failure stage. The geotextile has a significant effect on the deformation of the slope and increases the stability level while affecting the failure modes. On a reinforced slope, two surfaces can result from the distribution of the displacement difference between the unreinforced and the corresponding reinforced slopes; thus, the slope can be categorized into three zones. The front zone is characterized as a restricted region that is subjected to a backward tension via the geotextile while the middle zone is mainly subjected to a forward tension (like a support body). The back zone is unaffected by the geotextile. The reinforcement can take effect when its length is longer than the effective reinforcement length. The effective reinforcement length usually increases with increasing elevation and is significantly affected by the inclination of the slope. Ó 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction Geosynthetic-reinforced structures have been used worldwide due to their successful performance and economical efficiency. They include such structures as the reinforcing element in the stabilization of steep slopes and embankments and reinforcement at sand–clay interfaces that improve the bearing capacity of footings on soft clay (Giroud and Noiray, 1981). Accordingly, such a structure has attracted great interest among researchers and thus, has been comprehensively investigated (e.g., Li and Rowe, 2008). Both prototype observations and full-scale tests could obtain firsthand information and have often been selected as the most appropriate option from the experimental point of view (e.g., Fishman and Desai, 1993). However, high costs and the questionable data that have been collected (Zomberg and Arriaga, 2003) restrict their broad application in the investigation of the behavior of geosynthetic-reinforcement soils. Centrifuge model tests conducted in a small-scale model have the advantage of reproducing the same stress level with similar deformation and failure mechanisms as those that are presented in

* Corresponding author. Tel./fax: þ86 10 6279 5679. E-mail addresses: huyun02@mails.tsinghua.edu.cn (Y. Hu), zhangga@tsinghua. edu.cn (G. Zhang), zhangjm@tsinghua.edu.cn (J.-M. Zhang), leecf@tsinghua.edu.cn (C.F. Lee). 0266-1144/$ – see front matter Ó 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.geotexmem.2009.09.001

a prototype (Schofield, 1980). It could be an effective supplement to research data and has been widely used in the study of geosynthetic-reinforced soils (e.g., Bolton et al., 1978; Goodings and Santamarina, 1989; Guler and Goodings, 1992; Mahmud and Zimmie, 1998; Zornberg et al., 1997; Viswanadham and Mahajan, 2007). Digital image analysis was used to obtain the strain distribution of geosynthetic-reinforced slopes in the centrifuge model tests (Zornberg and Arriaga, 2003), while sigmoid functions were used to estimate the reinforcement distribution. The study of clayey, vertical, geotextile-reinforced earth walls indicated that there is a reinforcement length threshold, which is referred to as the critical reinforcement length, beyond which no further reduction in deformation can be achieved (Chen et al., 2007). It was also indicated that if the reinforcement length is longer than a critical reinforcement length, the reinforcement provided no further benefit to the slope. Most previous research has focused on the response of the geosynthetic-reinforced slopes as well as the influence factors. The reinforcement mechanism of the reinforced slope has not been systematically discovered. To this aim, the failure process should be carefully investigated to discover how the geosynthetic affects the deformation and thus, increases the stability of the slope under different conditions. Moreover, the studies of reinforcement slopes have usually been conducted on sand slopes (Sabermahani et al., 2009); however, in practice, the geotextile has also been widely used in cohesive soil slopes. The direct shear tests indicated that

Moreover.1.2. The captured image series was used to determine the displacement fields with a correlation-based image analysis method (Zhang et al. both unreinforced and reinforced slopes were used in the centrifuge model tests. and the meanings of the symbols are shown in Fig.4% and 14. .. A series of centrifuge model tests was performed on geotextilereinforced cohesive soil slopes. 1996). 1994). 3. 1a. A-1 A-2 B-1 B-2 B-3 B-4 L (mm) 0 78 0 78 150 300 S (mm) Null 50 Null 50 50 50 content and plasticity index of the soil were 18. China. The results were compared in order to demonstrate the fundamental mechanism of the geotextile-reinforced slopes due to loading. 2009). Such a region can be easily obtained by using a diverse range of methods (Zhang et al. and the internal frictional angle was 29 .2. 1.71.. The objectives of this paper are: (1) to give a brief introduction of the test and measurement system that can be used to obtain the deformation process of the overall slope.. The cohesion of the soil was 25 kPa. 2. Descriptions of tests 3..Y. Thus. One of its sides is equipped with a transparent lucite window through which the deformation process of the soils can be observed and recorded. Layout of the model. The deformation process of the slopes was measured and used to discuss the reinforcement mechanism and their influence factors. Fig. and (4) to discuss several factors that influence the reinforcement mechanism of the slopes. 2009). Therefore. respectively.1. i (H:V) 3:1 9:1 No. Measurements A new measurement system termed GeoImage Analysis System for centrifuge (‘‘GIAS-c’’) was used to record the images of soils during the centrifuge model tests (Zhang et al. The optimum moisture Table 1 A list of the tests. a series of centrifuge model tests was conducted in order to discuss the main influence factors. 200 mm in width and 520 mm in height. a further study of the behavior of geosynthetic-reinforced cohesive soil slopes is necessary. The sub-pixel accuracy of the measurement system was confirmed via the calibration tests. A colorful region with a random distribution was needed to assure the effectiveness of this system. Table 1 lists the typical centrifuge model tests. 2006). (2) to describe the model tests and present the typical test results. This system has been used to successfully test many centrifuge models. Scheme This paper focuses on the geotextile reinforcement mechanism in cohesive soil slopes. Materials The soil that was used in the tests was taken from the Xiongmaohuandao subway station in Beijing. The soil container was a rectangular box made of aluminum alloy with internal dimensions of 600 mm in length. By using the ‘‘GIAS-c’’ system. Hu et al. the capacity of it is 50 g-ton with a maximum acceleration of 250 g (Pu et al. 2. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes 28 (2010) 12–22 13 inclusion of non-woven geotextiles resulted in a significant strength increase in the wet cohesive soil reinforced with geotextiles (George. Device The centrifuge model tests were conducted by using the geotechnical centrifuge of Tsinghua University. the displacement history of arbitrary points on the soils can be measured without any disturbance to the soils. The soil is a type of silty clay with a specific gravity of 2. Device and measurements 2. such as the inclination of the slope and the reinforcement length. (3) to discover the reinforcement mechanism of the slopes by comparing the response of the reinforced and unreinforced slopes. 3.

1.5%. A slip surface through the slope occurred at the 45-g level (Fig. It can be seen that the contour lines concentrated across the slope in both the horizontal and vertical directions. Since the centrifugal . A close examination showed that increasing the centrifugal acceleration caused this crack to propagate upwards at approximately a 60 inclination. and a sudden slide consequently occurred. The displacement. The strain localization stage began from 30 g. the distributions of displacement were uniform. Analysis of mechanism Two typical test results for 3:1 slopes of both geotextile-reinforced and unreinforced were compared to analyze the reinforcement mechanism of the cohesive slopes. 2d shows the measurement results of the displacement at the 46-g level in the post-failure stage. and the subscripts p and m represent the prototype and model materials. only rigid displacements occurred in the slide body.1to 5 mm.4. the body that was near the slope surface exhibited a smaller deformation than the back part that was at the same elevation. 1a). while the tensile elastic modulus was 39. 1c shows the measurement area of the slope. 3). the reinforcement spacing that was used in the prototype was 1/2–1/50H. the upper curve (Line 1 in Fig. which is representative of uniform deformation. Deformation analysis of the unreinforced slope Fig.78%. t is the geotextile’s thickness. which is when the landslide occurred. Procedure In order to simulate the increase in the self-weight of the slopes. a crack was also found. there was a significant concentration of deformation that was in both the horizontal and vertical directions at the position of about 1/8H (slope height) above the toe of the slope near the slope surface (Fig. without wrapping back. 2 shows the photographs and displacement field history of the 3:1 unreinforced slope (scheme A-1) at typical centrifugal accelerations. All of the slopes were 360-mm high and were obtained by cutting out the redundant soil. it can be derived that the gauze was a reasonable substitute of the geotextile prototype. we usually compared different tests at the same g level.14 Y. 2a). By anatomizing the vertical displacements. 4. A type of medical bandage gauze with a thickness of 0. The displacement distributions along a horizontal line on three elevations were obtained at the 45-g level.15 kN/m and 7. Fig. From the photograph. All of the measurement results were presented on the model dimension. The opposite wall of the box was overlaid with a double-layer of plastic film with silicone oil between them to minimize side friction. and the uniform zone. 4). Compared with Fig. The slide body can be easily distinguished from the base body via the contour lines. the (1) where n is the centrifugal acceleration. When the centrifugal acceleration approximately reached the 40-g level. (1). This indicated that strain localization had occurred at that position and that the slope had entered the strain localization stage. 4) exhibited a flat change near the surface. A 60-mm high horizontal soil layer was maintained under the slope in order to reduce the influence of the bottom of the container on the deformation of the slope (Fig. It indicates that the failure process of the slope can be categorized into three stages that include the following: (1) uniform deformation stage. The horizontal displacements of points A and B exhibited larger increments than those of points C and D. the horizontal and vertical displacements of the four points exhibited a similar response. 2b). The gauze strips were laid flat on the soil during the construction according to the design length and spacing.1 g/cc by layers with 60 mm in thickness. At each stage. respectively. the centrifugal acceleration was increased in stages by adding 5 g each time. 1b). The displacements of points A and B exhibited a significant increment at the 45-g level. A number of white particles were randomly embedded on the side of the soil to increase the gray-level difference in the captured images (Fig. the inflectional zone. six layers of reinforcement were buried. while those of points A and B continuously increased. which was regarded in the uniform deformation stage. respectively. According to Eq. and had a water content of 18. the bottom strip was buried 40 mm from the slope toe in the vertical direction. Hu et al. 2003). thus. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes 28 (2010) 12–22 The following similarity criterion was used to choose the model geotextile: Ep tp ¼ n. 3. 3. During the uniform stage. Silicone oil was painted on both sides of the container to decrease the friction between the soil and the sidewalls of the container. there was no significant deformation localization or potential slip surface. Em tm acceleration increased during the test. the main area of the slope can be covered by the measurements. When the crack had extended a distance of approximately 1/6H away from the top of the slope. E is the geotextile’s elastic tensile modulus. the horizontal displacements of points C and D became stable with increasing centrifugal acceleration.71 kN/m. 2c. 4. depending on a survey of the full-scale geosynthetic-reinforced soil slopes (Zornberg and Arriaga.14 mm was used to simulate the geotextile in the tests. This loading process was terminated if significant failure occurred or if the centrifugal acceleration reached 100 g. Once the centrifugal acceleration reached 40 g. this difference increased with increasing centrifugal acceleration. at the working centrifugal acceleration from the 20-g level to the 100-g level. the deformation of the base body was nearly stable. When the centrifugal acceleration was less than 30 g. which was about 0. For example.14H (slope height). The width of the gauze strip was equal to the width of the model slope in order to realize the plane strain condition. As mentioned above. with an elastic modulus from dozens to hundreds of kN/m. Fig. both in the horizontal and vertical directions. In total. and successively increased thereafter. Model In the model container. which has a typical thickness from 0. The distribution curves of the horizontal displacement can be divided into three zones: the flat zone. Its tensile strength and ultimate strain value were 3. it turned back and extended straight to the crest. a transparent lucite window was used as one of the side walls of the box to enable inflight visualization of the models during testing. The height of the prototype slope was 16. (2) strain localization stage. it was maintained for several minutes before increasing to the next level so that the load was allowed to equalize. which corresponds to the landslide time (Fig. the soil was compacted to a dry density of 15. it was concluded that the local failure first initiated above the slope toe and near the slope surface. and (3) post-failure stage. This was consistent with the common knowledge of the distribution of the vertical stress.2 m when the slide occurred. The images of the slope were recorded and used to obtain the displacement fields via the GIAS-c during the centrifuge model tests. was small before the 30-g level (Fig. The displacement history of four typical points on a horizontal line of the slope was used to illustrate the three deformation stages in detail (Fig. 2c). The reinforcement spacing was 50 mm.3.

0.Y. Fig. where ur is the ratio of the horizontal displacement. The uniform zones and the starting points of the three curves in Fig. Hu et al. In this paper. 5 shows the horizontal displacement . This curve exhibited another insignificant change at the interior of the slope.0. Here the displacement was significantly smaller than the flat zone. 4 were similar. which demonstrate the range of the slide body. Displacement history of typical points in the 3:1 unreinforced slope.12 0.08 0. v is the vertical displacement. where u is the horizontal displacement.72H= 260mm 30 40 50 ur ¼ ui À uj . in the light of experience. The vertical displacement also exhibited a similar mechanism as the horizontal displacement even though the difference between the flat and uniform zone was smaller. and an inflection zone connected these two zones. which is defined as the uniform zone. 3. and Xti and Xtj are the corresponding horizontal distance from the slope toe. However.16 20 horizontal displacement at this zone was the largest. the lengths of the flat zones. 4 that all of the curves showed the same distribution even though the elevations were different.06 uniform stage localization stage postfailure stage slide u/H 0. ui and uj are the horizontal displacements.00 0. The gradient of the horizontal displacement was used to analyze the shear zone: v/H ABCD Y= 0. 2.04 0. Xti À Xtj (2) a (g) Fig. It can be seen in Fig. were quite different. and Y is the vertical distance from the slope toe. H is the slope height.04 0. Displacement fields in the unreinforced 3:1 slope.02 0. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes 28 (2010) 12–22 15 Fig. it is specified that a point was in the shear zone if ur at this point is larger than 1. a is the centrifugal acceleration.08 0.

6. this 0.7H elevation. 8 shows the displacement distributions on horizontal lines at different elevations in the reinforced slope at the 50-g level.7H elevations. At the same time. and C exhibited a significant increase. 6d). The shear zone of the 3:1 unreinforced slope with a centrifugal acceleration of 45-g level.06 flat part v/H 0.02 110 120 130 Xt (mm) 140 0 150 Y=0. was consistent with the uniform deformation that was obtained from Fig. 4. B. which was similar to the unreinforced slope. while it is about 4 mm at the 0. Unlike the unreinforced slope. This demonstrated that the thickness of the shear zone was nonuniform along the potential slide surface. which was nearly equal to the length of the geotextile strip. 6 shows the photographs and displacement distributions of the reinforced slope. As the centrifugal acceleration increased to 45 g. the horizontal displacements of points A. another crack occurred just behind the end of the sixth geotextile strip (Y ¼ 290 mm). However. Displacement distribution of the horizontal lines in the 3:1 unreinforced slope.5 0.7H elevation.53H=190mm line 3 Y=0.3H b 0. Moreover. Fig. A comparison with the unreinforced slope (Fig.6 Y=0. the magnitudes of the displacement in the reinforced slope were significantly smaller than the displacements in the unreinforced slope. and Y is the vertical distance from the slope toe. 7). When the centrifugal acceleration reached 40 g.08 5 4 3 2 Shear zone ur u/H 0. ur is the gradient of the horizontal displacement. This indicated that the reinforcement of the geotextile had a significant effect on the displacement fields of the slope. Deformation analysis of the reinforced slope The behavior of a 3:1 geotextile-reinforced slope (scheme A-2) was discussed by comparing it with an unreinforced slope (scheme A-1). It should be noted that the horizontal displacements of points C and D. such as the process of strain localization and the range of the potential slide body. Shear zone 0.08 u/H ur 5 4 3 2 u/H and gradient for both the 0. the distribution of displacements was still uniform except for a little regional strain localization between the first (Y ¼ 40 mm) and second (Y ¼ 90 mm) geotextile strips. a crack also occurred here. 5) shows that the reinforcement increased the thickness of the shear zone ur ur .08 0. which reached a stable state in the unreinforced slope (Fig.3 Xs /H 0.08 u/H 0. The distribution curve of the horizontal displacement on the top line included a flat segment. It shows that the vertical displacement exhibited a uniform distribution. 9 shows the horizontal displacement and its gradient on the 0. It can be seen that the thickness of the shear zone was about 5 mm at the 0.02 40 50 60 Xt (mm) 70 0 80 0. This can be confirmed by a localized concentration of contour displacement lines that were in both the horizontal and vertical directions. where u is the horizontal displacement. where u is the horizontal displacement. while that of point D exhibited a smoother change. The flat curve was about 80-mm-long.04 line 1 Y=0.3H elevation. and Y is the horizontal distance from the slope toe.7H elevations. the horizontal displacement gradually decreased with increasing distance from the surface.3H and 0.2 0. on the medium and bottom lines.78H=280mm line 2 Y=0. Nevertheless.4 0.04 0.02 0. 5. With increasing centrifugal acceleration. 4). The thickness of the shear zone was about 6 mm at the 0. 6a).04 1 0. which was similar to the unreinforced slope. which provides further analysis of the deformation process.00 0.16 Y. 7 shows the displacement history of four typical points on a horizontal line in the reinforced slope.3H and 0. which were near the slope surface (Fig. continuously increased for the reinforced slope (Fig.28H=100mm a 0. Hu et al. Fig. This implied that the expansion of the potential slip surface was stopped by the fifth geotextile strip (Y ¼ 240 mm). Fig.06 0.7H Fig. H is the slope height. Xt is the horizontal distance from the slope toe. Xs is the horizontal distance from the surface. it can be seen that there were only two deformation stages: the uniform stage and the strain localization stage.16 0.2H from the slope toe in the vertical direction (Fig.12 0. while it was about 5 mm at the 0.1 0. the soil exhibited a significant horizontal displacement between the bottom and adjacent geotextile strips at about 0. 4.1 6 u/H 0.1 6 Fig. this crack propagated upward to the slope top and downward to a position near the second geotextile strip (Y ¼ 90 mm) (Fig. From the 1-g level to the 30-g level. v is the vertical displacement.2.0 uniform part inflection 0.3H elevation.10 0. The crack grew upwards and changed direction at the third geotextile strip (Y ¼ 140 mm). The displacements of the four points were nearly the same before the 30-g level.04 1 0. Significant deformation also occurred on the unreinforced slope. Fig. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes 28 (2010) 12–22 0.06 0. the horizontal and vertical displacements were small and exhibited a uniform distribution (Fig. H is the slope height. When the centrifugal acceleration reached 50 g. 6c). 6b).

where u is the horizontal displacement.04 line 1 Y=0.02 0 0. Displacement fields of the 3:1 geotextile-reinforced slope. Displacement history of typical points in the 3:1 geotextile-reinforced slope.12 0.28H 0. 7.06 u/H u /H 0. v is the vertical displacement.04 localization stage 0. where u is the horizontal displacement.4 Xs/H 0. a is the centrifugal acceleration. H is the slope height. Xs is the horizontal distance from the surface. Hu et al.81H=290mm 30 40 50 a (g) Fig. H is the slope height. 8.08 0.16 0. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes 28 (2010) 12–22 17 Fig. 0. Displacement distribution of the horizontal lines in the 3:1 geotextile-reinforced slope. . and Y is the vertical distance from the slope toe.06 uniform stage 0.12 0.Y. and Y is the vertical distance from the slope toe.7 ABCD 0.1 0.6 0.53H line 3 Y=0.08 0.08 0.04 0.2 0.78H line 2 Y=0. Fig.04 v/H v/H 0.0 0.3 0. v is the vertical displacement.02 0 0. 6.5 0.16 20 Y=0.

8 b 0. Analysis of the reinforcement’s effect It has been revealed that the geotextile first delays the lateral displacement of the slope and thus. and Xs is the horizontal distance from the slope surface. they increased at dissimilar rates as the centrifugal acceleration. Xs is the horizontal distance from the slope surface. where u is the horizontal displacement.08 0.02 point E 0 0. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes 28 (2010) 12–22 a 0.14 0. In other words.3H 0 0. 4cm. indirectly influences the vertical displacement. However.12 30g 0. while it was significantly smaller in the case of the reinforced slope. It can be concluded that the geotextile’s displacement in the reinforced slope had the distribution of two flat regions that were connected by a steep increasing region.01 0.06 0.005 0 Shear zone 3 40 50 60 70 Xt (mm) 80 90 ur Y=0. where u is the horizontal displacement.025 u/H 0. 4.08 0. Displacement of the fifth (Y ¼ 240 mm) geotextile in the 9:1 30-mm-long reinforced cohesive slope.14 0.5cm. which was near the slope surface.2 0.5 0.04 Y=0. a is the centrifugal acceleration.04 reinforced slope unreinforced slope and changed the position of the shear zone. and Y is the vertical distance from the slope toe.3 0.6 0. 10 shows the horizontal displacement relative to the reference point at the slope surface for the fifth geotextile of the B-4 test scheme with a reinforcement length of 30 mm and reveals the displacement distribution of the reinforcement. which moved forward to the slope surface at a lower elevation and moved backward at a higher elevation. For example.02 point G 0 0 10 20 a (g) 30 40 50 Fig. The horizontal displacements of both slopes increased by a similar rate from the 30-g level to the 40-g level.16 6 0. 11.06 100 120 140 160 Xt (mm) 180 200 Shear zone 2 1 0 220 Y=0.16 6 u/H 0.02 0 0. H is the slope height. Horizontal displacement history of typical points along the top geotextile in the 3:1 reinforced and unreinforced slopes.015 ur 5 4 40g 45g 50g 55g u/H 0. which was when the unreinforced slope exhibited noticeable deformation. 11 shows the horizontal displacement history of three typical points along the sixth geotextile strip (Y ¼ 290 mm). It can be seen that the reinforced and unreinforced slopes both exhibited small horizontal displacements (with a small difference) before the 30-g level. this demonstrated that the reinforcement effect of the geotextile became significant at higher centrifugal accelerations. the relative rates between the slopes were different at different locations.81H=290mm Xs = 1. 10. started at 40 g.06 1 0 100 d/H 0.04 0. H is the slope height. 6cm E F G point F u/H 0. increased. the increase in the horizontal displacement rate at point E. On the contrary.02 0.1 2 0. at the interior of ur 0. Fig. Xt is the horizontal distance from the slope toe. 2003). became fairly larger from the 40-g level. in the case of the unreinforced slope. u/H 3 0. the horizontal displacement can be an appropriate index that reflects the influence of the reinforcement. which was similar to the sand slopes (Zornberg and Arriaga. the horizontal displacement of point G.4 Xs /H 0.7 0. Shear zone of the 3:1 reinforced slope at the 45-g level. . Fig. 9. and Y is the vertical distance from the slope toe.7H Fig.06 0. which 0. ur is the gradient of the horizontal displacement.12 ur 5 4 Fig.3.06 0. H is the slope height. where d is the horizontal displacement relative to the reference point at the slope surface. Hu et al. Moreover.1 0.18 Y.1 0.

Fig. either one can be used. different elevations. In this case. II. Hereafter. which was the 45-g level in these tests. which means that the horizontal displacements of both of the slopes were equal. It should be noted that the start of each curve was 5 mm away from the slope surface in the horizontal direction. 12). Fig. It can be concluded that the influence of the geotextile became more evident at the ultimate time for the unreinforced slope. The displacement differences above and below the geotextile strip are equal. seemed to increase at a consistent rate for both of the slopes. 12. Fig. the forward direction is defined as the direction from the inner slope to the slope surface while backward means the opposite direction. the abbreviation displacement difference is used to indicate the difference between the horizontal displacement of the reinforced slope and the corresponding unreinforced slope. A close examination showed that the displacement difference was positive in the front zone. . 12). and Y is the vertical distance from the slope toe. However. and Y is the vertical distance from the slope toe. Therefore. where the distance was less than 35 mm away from the surface.81H=290mm -8 8 4 0 -4 -8 -12 0 line b Y=0. Displacement difference in the 3:1 slopes at the 45-g level. where Du is the displacement difference (the reinforced subtracted from the unreinforced). 13 shows the displacement difference for different elevations at the 45-g level. thus. Opposite to this region. Significantly. the slope can be categorized into three zones (I. the displacement difference in the back part of the slope was negative. Hu et al. which means that at that position. while that of the unreinforced slope did not change beyond the 43-g level. Du is the difference displacement. 13. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes 28 (2010) 12–22 19 the slope. where Xt is the horizontal distance from the slope toe. accordingly. This implied that the displacement of the front part of the slope was reduced by the geotextile. The displacement difference is positive if the reinforcement decreases the horizontal displacement. Displacement difference in the 3:1 slope along the geotextile strip. this 12 8 4 0 -4 above reinforcement below reinforcement ∆u (mm) line a Y=0. It can be concluded that the front part of the reinforced slope was subjected to a backward tension because of the geotextile. Zone II is mainly subjected to a forward tension. 13). Zone I is characterized as a restricted region that is subjected to a backward tension via the reinforcement while the horizontal displacement decreased accordingly. the geotextile increased the horizontal displacement. the H1-surface and the H2-surface. increased steadily at a constant rate for the reinforced slope.53H=190mm 20 40 Xs (mm) 60 80 Fig. The displacement differences in Zone III were very close to zero. at the middle of the slope. thus two surfaces. can be obtained by connecting the intersections at Fig. the displacement distribution along three horizontal lines at the 45-g level was carefully examined to further analyze the reinforcement mechanism (Fig. Similar phenomena can be found near the fourth geotextile strip except for the fact that the inflexion positions were a bit different (line b.Y. 14. the back part created a forward tension. Photograph of the 9:1 slope that is reinforced with a 78-mm-long geotextile at the ultimate state. thus. this indicates that Zone II provides a backward tension to Zone I and acts as a support body via the geotextile. Xs is the horizontal distance from the slope surface. These two intersections divided a curve into three segments. the horizontal displacement of point F. It can be seen that all of the curves intersected the zero line twice. III) according to the two surfaces (Fig. It should be noted that Zone II covers several centimeters away from the end of the reinforcement.

Displacement difference of the horizontal lines in the 9:1 slopes at the 25-g level.20 Y. Thus. Influence of slope inclination An unreinforced (scheme B-1) and a reinforced 9:1 slope with a 78 mm-long geotextile (scheme B-2) were used to discuss how slope inclination affects the reinforcement behavior by comparing the results with the corresponding results of the 3:1 slopes. 15. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes 28 (2010) 12–22 Fig. the H2-surface can be used as a boundary where the reinforcement has a significant effect on the slope. The H1-surface has been indicated to be similar to the slip surface of the unreinforced slope. demonstrated that the reinforcement had a small effect on the deformation of the soil. the slip surface of the unreinforced slope. A crack first appeared near the slope toe.16H from the slope . Du is the difference displacement. can be used as an important reference in the design of the reinforcement. between the first and second geotextile strips. which can be obtained by limit equilibrium methods. In other words. The origin of the crack was at 0. Hu et al. where Xt is the horizontal distance from the slope toe. 5. The 9:1 geotextile-reinforced slope slid at the 25-g level. and Y is the vertical distance from the slope toe.

42 L=150mm L/H=0. it can be concluded that there was a critical reinforcement length for the geotextile-reinforced slope.01 Y=0. 15b). Fig. which indicates that reinforcement was invalid under such reinforcement arrangement in the 9:1 slope. Such an inflexion can be used to determine when this point entered the localization stage. If the reinforcement length is shorter than the effective reinforcement length. the geotextile can restrict the deformation. the H1-surface only locally appeared at the bottom of the slope (Fig. which is larger than the lengths of the reinforced cohesive soil slopes. the H1-surface and the H2-surface became evident (Fig. 0. 6. 15a). 50mm The influence of the reinforcement length was discussed by using the 9:1 reinforced slopes (schemes B-2. Xs is the distance from the slope surface. 0. A similar effective reinforcement length was found in the study of vertical geotextile-reinforced earth walls (Chen et al. did not significantly affect the 9:1 slope.04 0.83 L=300mm influence on the reinforcement effect of the geotextile. another crack appeared near the end of the fourth geotextile strip (Y ¼ 190 mm. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the reinforcement length in reducing the deformation of the slope. 16. where u is the horizontal displacement. which finally formed the slip surface (Fig. the H1-surface significantly moved to the interior of the slope and nearly became vertical (Fig.53H from the slope toe).8 Reinforcement Length Ratio. 14). prevent the development of a slip surface. which is termed the effective reinforcement length in this paper.22. (%) Improvement ratios at the centrifugal acceleration of 25-g level Ir ¼ Fig. and increase the stability level of the slope.22. If the reinforcement length ratio increased to 0. and the distribution was quite different from that of the 3:1 slope. 13). 16b). an improvement ratio. the magnitude of the improvement ratios was significantly different at different positions. It can be seen that the 78-mm-long geotextile had a small effect on the deformation and failure progress of the 9:1 slope. This demonstrated that the inclination of the slope has a significant where D and Dr are the horizontal displacement of a point that has the same location in the unreinforced and reinforced slopes. The distributions of displacement differences at the 25-g level were examined for the 9:1 slopes with different reinforcement length ratios (Fig. The improvement ratios for the horizontal displacement at the 25-g level were computed from the test results (Fig. For example. and L is the reinforcement length. In order to achieve a similar reinforcement effect. which was lower than in the case of the 3:1 reinforced slope with the same reinforcement length and spacing. the reinforcement can only locally affect the slope and has an insignificant effect on the failure behavior or the deformation distribution of the slope.83. These effects can be increased by increasing the reinforcement length. respectively. Influence of reinforcement length u/H 0. the displacement difference was almost zero near the fifth geotextile strip (Y ¼ 240 mm). D À Dr  100%. The process and development of the localization stage was quite similar to the case of the unreinforced slope.42. This demonstrated that the effect of the reinforcement was significant and that the geotextile was long enough for the slope.Y. H is the slope height. respectively. which had the same length. Displacement history and improvement ratios of the horizontal displacement at points in the 9:1 slope. 16a shows the horizontal displacement history of a typical point near the surface with the same reinforcement spacing of 50 mm and different reinforcement length ratios of 0. with a reinforcement length of 0. In that investigation. It can be seen that for a given reinforcement spacing. a is the centrifugal acceleration.22H. Thus.83. the geotextile. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes 28 (2010) 12–22 21 a 0. is defined as follows: Improvement Ratio of Horizontal Displacement.2 0. However. all of the improvement ratios increased with an increased reinforcement length ratio. 15a shows the distribution of the displacement difference along the horizontal lines of the 9:1 slopes at the 25-g level. 15c). Hu et al. B-4). the effective reinforcement length was 1. The crack propagated through two geotextile strips to approximately 0. It can be seen that an evident inflexion occurred in each curve. B-3. D (3) toe in the vertical direction. was similar to that of the ..22 L=78 mm L/H=0. At almost the same time. Ir. which indicated that the geotextile had a small effect on the deformation of the slope.4 0.56H J K Xs= 10mm . When the reinforcement length ratio was 0. L/H 1 Y=0. however.4H from the slope toe in the vertical direction. If the reinforcement length ratio increased to 0.42. the position of the H1-surface at the bottom of the slope (Y ¼ 90 mm). It can be concluded that the increase in the reinforcement length delayed the occurrence of the inflexion and decreased the horizontal displacement rate.35H. Fig.02 J 0. On the other hand.6 0.03 L/H=0. It should be mentioned that the effective reinforcement length may be different at different elevations of a slope. Y is the vertical distance from the slope toe. and 0. 15). if the reinforcement length is longer than the effective reinforcement length. It propagated upwards to the top of the slope and downwards to meet the first crack. For instance. 2007). a steeper slope may need a longer reinforcement length than a gentler slope.56H Xs= 10mm 0 0 10 20 a (g) 30 40 Displacement histories of point J b 100 80 60 40 20 0 0 0. It has been indicated that the 78-mm-long geotextile exhibited a significant reinforcement effect on the 3:1 slope (Fig.

L.. 2003. A.D. J. P. A.L... Field behavior of instrumented geogrid soil reinforced wall.. 1994. M.J.S..G. Zhang. S.. Giroud. 32–45. Santamarina. Jin. Centrifuge modeling study... (2) strain localization stage. 2007.J. it can be concluded that the reinforcement length may vary according to the laying location in the reinforcement design of a slope..... (3) Reinforcement increases the thickness of the shear zone and changes the position of the shear zone..K. 248–259.. Testing of reinforced slopes in a geotechnical centrifuge. ASTM 20 (4).V. 1998.. J. Journal of Geotechnical Engineering 119 (8). M.. New image-analysis-based displacementmeasurement system for centrifuge modeling tests. / Geotextiles and Geomembranes 28 (2010) 12–22 slope with a reinforcement length of 0. Chen. J. 1993. Centrifuge models of clay-lime reinforced soil walls. 2009.R.. Goodings.. which moves forward to the slope surface at lower elevations while it moves backward at higher elevations. The front zone is characterized as a restricted region that is subjected to a backward tension. American Society of Civil Engineers. Mahmud. L. Y.. 2007.. J. Hu et al. 470–480. P. Geotechnical Special Publication 2 (30). 1021–1025. Liu. 50823005).S. Geotextiles and Geomembranes 14 (11). Geosynthetics International 14 (6). (5) Both the inclination of the slope and the reinforcement length have a significant influence on the deformation of the geotextile-reinforced slopes.42H while the position became significantly different with increasing elevation. 1249–1260. Choudhury. C. Y.. A.R. Fishman. F. S. 1981. 87–96. Sabermahani. K... Li. Pang. Chen. Modelling reinforced earth. Geotextiles and Geomembranes 27 (2). J.T. Experimental study on seismic deformation modes of reinforced-soil walls. Geotextile-reinforced unpaved road design. Zhang.. Conclusions A series of centrifuge model tests was conducted to investigate the behavior of the cohesive soil slopes that were reinforced with geotextile and to compare them to unreinforced slopes. 2007CB714108) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.. Viswanadham. Geotextiles and Geomembranes 26 (4). Measurement 42 (1). Zhang. Rowe.C. G. Instrumentation and calibration of geotextiles used in centrifuge modeling of slopes. 1980. K. N.P. Y. Centrifuge modeling test of a geotextile-reinforced wall with a very wet clayey backfill. n 1614. Desai. D. Reinforcement has a significant effect on the deformation process in the strain localization stage and delays or even prevents the occurrence of a slide. A..J. Li. (4) Two surfaces. 2006..... 1293–1307. Strain distribution within geosynthetic-reinforced slopes.L. Sitar. (2) The displacement of the geotextile exhibits a distribution of two flat regions that are connected by a steep increasing region. B. Schofield. Fakher. J.. W. Pu..S.. 365–379. Effects of viscous behavior of geosynthetic reinforcement and foundation soils on the performance of reinforced embankments. Acknowledgements The project is supported by the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program) (No. Reinforced earth and adjacent soils. References Bolton. Proc. Results of direct shear tests on geotextile reinforced cohesive soil. George. 346–359. Guler. M. Zimmie. Goodings. The reinforcement has no significant effect on the back zone. Centrifuge model tests on geotextilereinforced slopes. J. Geotextiles and Geomembranes 25 (6). H. D. Lee. Journal of Geotechnical Engineering 115 (7). The stability level is increased by the reinforcement and affects the failure modes. Hu. 1997.. The following conclusions can be drawn on the basis of the observations: (1) The failure process of an unreinforced slope can be categorized into three stages: (1) uniform deformation stage. Liang. Development of Medium-size Geotechnical Centrifuge at Tsinghua University. C. can be obtained by comparing the displacement behavior of the reinforced and unreinforced slopes. Cambridge geotechnical centrifuge operations. 619–644.N. Arriaga. Journal of the Geotechnical Engineering Division 107 (9). Li. F. 317–334. Geotechnical Testing Journal. .A.K. Zhang..F.. J. The effective reinforcement length usually increases with an increasing elevation and is significantly affected by the inclination of the slope.. Chang. 227–268. Singapore 31 Aug–2 Sept.B. this categorizes the slope into three zones.. Hung. 7.. E. 1233–1254.G. 1992. 1996.L. 1989.. pp. 2009. which is opposite to the slope surface via the geotextile. and (3) post-failure stage.22 Y. Image analysis measurement of soil particle movement during a soil-structure interface test.M.Q. D. Thus..T.D. 2008. Geotechnique 30 (3). R. 3–7. Ghalandarzadeh.C. A. T. 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