You are on page 1of 18


1.1 Background of the Study

The Philippines is located in the south-western portion of the Pacific marine
territory, thus making it susceptible to any typhoon which had developed in the ocean.
These typhoons brought several havocs to Filipinos, and one of these disasters which
naturally-occurs in slightly stable slopes that consist of various types of soil is the
landslide. Landslide is a very dangerous phenomenon and can cause massive
damages to nearby infrastructures, and even to peoples lives. According to David
Petley, a professor of hazard and risk at Durham University in United Kingdom,
Philippines has lost 4,583 lives in 226 non-seismic landslides between 2004 and 2010.
The Philippines also ranked third in terms of casualties and cases among the 41
countries identified as key spots for non-earthquake-related landslides (Philippine Daily
Inquirer, Aug. 17, 2012).
Non-seismic landslides usually occur during or after a massive rain. Slope
saturation by water is a primary cause of landslides. The ground takes much water
which causes the increase of soil moisture. Then as the water content of the soil rises,
the yield strength decreases and the soil particles loosen up with each other. Upon
further analysis, when rainwater infiltrates a soil profile that is initially in an unsaturated
state, a decrease in negative pore pressure, or matric suction, occurs. This causes a
decrease in the effective normal stress acting along the potential failure plane, which in
turn diminishes the available shear strength to a point where equilibrium can no longer
be sustained in the slope (Orense, 2004).

A soil map of Bukidnon produced by the Bureau of Soils illustrated that expansive
soils, such as Adtuyon clay, covers a large area of the national highway where it was
constructed. The Adtuyon clay is acidic strong brown clay with a relatively high plasticity
of 37% and high amount of silt and clay. A value of Plasticity Index greater than 35 %
and fall between 20 % to 40 % range exhibits high swell potential and high plasticity
(Bargasa et al, 2012). Some portions of the national road, particularly around the
municipality of Quezon, have different soil types such as Macolod clay, La Castellana
clay and other undifferentiated mountain soils. Generally, these types of clayey soils
absorb significant amounts of water and deals considerable effect to its yield strength.
In order to evaluate the modified physical factors before a landslide occurrence,
Sultanov and Khusanov (2001) proposed equations of state of soil prone to slum-type
settlement, which take into account the degree of wetting in the initial stage. These
equations were developed using models of deformation of the continuous and
experimental results of cohesion and the angular coefficient of internal friction as well as
the bulk compression and shear modulus. This study was revised by treating the yield
stress as a function of water content for slip-prone clayey soils due rainfall and
determined how yield stress is decremented by the water content. Yield stress was
calculated for several water concentrations using the slump test in cylindrical geometry
and inputting the obtained data on the Phasias and coworkers expression which will be
discussed further in this proposal (Mendez-Sanchez et al).

1.2 Statement of the Problem

The principal problem which paved way to the existence of this research
proposal was the frequent manifestation of heavy rainfall in the island of Mindanao. As a
result, soil profiles which were characterized by clays and silts triggers landslides due to
excess weight generated by water.
The secondary problem that arose in this study was the lack of information to
recognize the reasons that make an area susceptible to sliding and to acknowledge
factors that trigger the movement of the rock or soil mass movement.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The primary objective of this study is to provide corresponding yield stresses of
soil for a ranged value of moisture content. The investigation will be conducted within
the proximity of the Bukidnon-Davao national highway, Mindanao, Philippines.
The specific objectives are as follows:
1. To determine the physical properties (Atterberg limits, Grain size distribution) of the
soils in the certain points along the Bukidnon-Davao national highway.
2. To illustrate the correlation between the water content and yield strength of soil.
3. To determine the critical soil moisture content in which landslide is about to occur.
4. To determine the average daily rainfall intensity in order to postulate the probability
of non-seismic landslide occurrences in the location of study.

1.4 Significance of the Study

Landslides tragedies are becoming common nowadays; this implies that being
aware of any landslide possibilities is necessary. This research will provide a better
perspective of the soils status along the slightly stable slopes of the national highway
connecting the provinces of Bukidnon and Davao. The results of this study will supply
sufficient information to nearby residences regarding the chances of landslide
occurrence, thus reducing the risk of accidents and casualties.
Another purpose of this assessment is to endorse the easiest way of ascertaining
the yield stresses of various soils. This can be done by performing the slump test
method and then using the Phasias and coworkers formula. This procedure of
calculating the yield stress is reduces efforts and time consumed, hence making it
preferable than the conventional method.
This study can also open new doors for further research about the several
expansive soils at Mindanao, Philippines which can cause non-seismic landslides upon
taking large accumulation of moisture.

1.5 Scope and Limitation of the Study

This study is limited on acquiring the yield stress of soils within the national road
linking the provinces of Bukidnon and Davao using the slump test method. The place of
study will be distributed in six various areas in order to gain different soil samples that
will elucidate the variations of soil properties covered by the highway.
The pre-assessment tests to be conducted will be the Atterberg limits test grain
size distribution test, for these were the only related tests in this field of study. Then
other associate tests will be performed to acquire the physical properties of the soil.
The water content of the specimen collected will be measured. Then moisture will
be manually manipulated in order for the soil specimen to reach the desired moisture
range of 30 % to 40 %, for the cause of determining the critical moisture content. The
method which will be used in yield stress determination will be the slump test method.
After attaining the needed data during the testing process, we will use the Phasias and
coworkers expression in order to calculate for the yield stress.
This study also emphasizes to have a copy of the rainfall intensity records from
PAG-ASA or other related institutions. With the aid of these documents, an average
daily rainfall intensity rate can be deduced considering the respective areas studied.
And a conclusion can be arrived on the possibility of landslide occurrence along the
stretch of the Bukidnon-Davao national highway.


2.1 Background of Landslides

Landslides are defined as the mass movement of rocks, debris or earth along a
sliding plane. They are characterized by almost permanent contact between the moving
masses and sliding plane (Butler, 1976; Crozier, 1984; and Smith, 1996). Landslides
cause substantial economic, human and environmental losses throughout the world.
Examples of devastating landslides at a global scale include the 1972 Calabria landslide
in Italy, the 1970 Hauscaran landslide in Peru (McCall, 1992), the 1966 Aberfan
landslide in Wales, and the 1985 Armero landslide in Colombia (Alexander, 1993).

2.2 Landslides due to Slope Failures

According to Orense (2005), landslides induced by heavy rainfall often occur in
marginally stable slopes that consist of various types of soil, such as colluvial and
residual soils. Because of its frequency and proximity to various infrastructure
developments in landslide-prone areas, rainfall-induced slope instability is considered
one of the most signicant geo-environmental hazards. In order to understand the
mechanism and conditions leading to these slope failures, a comprehensive testing
program consisting of constant shear stress drained triaxial tests and model slope
experiments was performed using sandy materials obtained from a former landslide site
in Japan. Results of both element tests and model experiments clearly showed that
slope failure is induced due to the development of pore-water pressure in slope. As soil
moisture contents within the slope approach critical values, ground deformations are

mobilized. Therefore, by properly selecting regions where soil moisture contents must
be monitored, possibly in areas where seepage forces will develop, failure initiation in
slopes can be predicted.

2.3 Philippines as a Landslide Prone Country

The Philippines ranks third in terms of casualties and cases among 41 countries
identified as key spots for non-earthquake-related landslides, according to a professor
of hazard and risk at Durham University in the United Kingdom. David Petley, lead
author of the recently released study, Global patterns of loss of life from landslides,
also identified the mountain chains along the western edge of the Philippine Sea plate
as among the global hotspots for landslides (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 2012).

2.4 Characteristics of Adtuyon Clay

A study conducted by Bargasa, et al. (2011) showed that the overall geotechnical
index properties of Adtuyon Clay show that it can be classified under the A-7-6
subgroup with group index of 42 of the AASHTO Soil Classification System and CH
(clay of high plasticity, fat clay) in the Unified Soil Classification System. It is acidic
strong brown clay with a relatively high plasticity of 37% with high amount of silt and
clay. A value of Plasticity Index greater than 35 % and fall between 20 % to 40 % range
exhibits high swell potential and high plasticity. In Bukidnon, large areas of soil cover
are dominated by Adtuyon clay based on the soil map generated by the Bureau of Soils
and Water Management (BSWM). This type of soil has high potential to swell.

2.5 Conventional Yield Stress Determination

To analyze the stability of slopes during rainfall, it is necessary to know the
change in the saturation ratio and the strength parameters of highly saturated soils.
Constant shear stress drained triaxial tests on initially unsaturated sandy specimens
were conducted to simulate the stress path followed by soil element in a slope during
rainfall. In these tests, total normal stress and shear stress essentially remained
constant during the process of rainwater infiltration. In addition to porewater pressure
inside the specimen, axial and volumetric strains during water infiltration were
examined. (Orense, 2004)

2.6 Yield Stress Determination through Slump Test

Mendez-Sanchez et al conducted a study about yield stress evaluation as a
function of water content for slip-prone clayey. Yield stress was calculated for several
water concentrations using slump test cylindrical geometry. The method consists of
filling a cylindrical frustum with the material to be tested in the specified way; lifting the
frustum off and allowing the material to collapse under its own weight. The height of the
final slumped material is measured and the difference between the initial and final

heights is called the slump height (s). Yield stress (

was calculated using the

Pashias and coworkers expression.

Where is the material density, where g is the gravity, H is the height of the frustum and
s is the slump height.


Sand strainer Sieve no. 8
Cassagrande cup device (ASTM
D4318 10)
Cylindrical Pipe (150 mm x 350
Clayey soil (taken from different
ASTM D4318 10 standard test
methods for liquid limit

Soil preparation from specified site
Determination of physical and
chemical properties
Atterberg Limit
Grain Size Distribution
Determination of Yield Stress
Data Gathering

Yield Stress of Soil
Soil Moisture vs. Yield Stress
Critical Moisture Content for
Landslide to occur



4.1 Preparation of Constituent Materials

4.1.1 Soil Samples
Generous quantities of disturbed soil samples will be gathered in six different
points along the stretch of the Bukidnon-Davao national highway and then will be taken
to Central Mindanao University for the application of pre-evaluation processes.
4.1.2 Drying Process
A representative soil sample will undergo air-drying for about one week or until
the external moist will be removed. Then, it will be brought to the Soil and Plant Analysis
Laboratory in the Department of Agriculture, CMU, Maramag, Bukidnon for oven-drying.
Afterwards, the moisture content of the specimen will be zero.
4.1.3 Sieving
The oven-dried soil will pass through sieve number 8 and 200. Soil particles that
will pass through sieve number 8 will be used in the determining of the soil yield stress
through slump test method. While the soil debris that will pass through sieve number
200 will be used in the Atterberg limit and other related tests.
4.1.4 Storage and Labelling
The sifted soil sample will be stored in a zip-lock and will be kept in a room with a
moderate temperature. Cold environment must be avoided in order to prevent moist

development within the soil particles. Specimens should be labelled accordingly to avoid
interchanging of samples.
4.2 Determination of Soil Properties
The representative from soil samples will be examined in the laboratory for
physical and chemical properties such as specific gravity, mean grain size, gravel
content, sand content, fine content, coefficient of uniformity, coefficient of gradation,
maximum void ratio, minimum void ratio and the like.

4.3 Atterberg Limits

4.3.1 Liquid Limit Test
Liquid limit will be tested by using cassagrande cup device with ASTM D4318
10 standard test methods for liquid limit will be the basis for this test. Soil sample will be
put into the cassagrande cup of about 100mm in thickness and it will be separated
equally in the middle by a spatula and it will be sprayed by a varying amount of moisture
content for three trials. It will be blown until the separated soil portions will be in contact
for about 12mm. The moisture content of the three trials and the numbers of blow with
respect to the varying amount of moisture content will be plotted on a semi-logarithmic
graphing paper. The moisture content corresponding to 25 blows will determine the
liquid limit of the soil.


4.3.2 Plastic Limit and Plasticity Index

Plastic limit and plasticity index will be test by ASTM D4318 10 standard test
methods for plastic limit and plasticity index. The soil sample will be sprayed by varying
water content for three trials at where it will crumble when rolled into threads about
3mm. it will be oven dried in a kiln for the determination of water content. The average
computed water content will give us the plastic limit of the soil. Using the equation
PI=LL-PL we can compute the plastic index.

4.4 Yield Strength Computation

Yield strength will be determined by the use of slump test method. The sample
will pass sieve no. 8 with an opening of 2.36 mm will be used. Samples of 0.3 kg will be
prepared with 30-40 % of water concentration. In this study, there will be six moisture
variations, that are 30%, 32%, 34%, 36%, 38% and 40%. The sample will be compacted
at a cylindrical frustum with a height of 350 mm. The cylindrical frustum will be lifted
which allows the sample to collapse under its own weight. Measure the slump height
which is the difference between the height of the sample after it collapse and the height

of the cylindrical frustum. Then the yield stress (

) will be solved using Pashias et al



Where is the material density, g is the gravity, H is the height of the frustum and
s is the slump height. After calculating the yield strength, graph illustrating the
correlation between yield strength and the moisture content will be made. Then the
critical moisture content will be pointed out depending on the graph.
4.5 Relating Yield Strength to Rainfall Intensity
4.5.1 Acquiring Rainfall Intensity Data
The records of the past rainfall intensity will be acquired at the Philippine
Atmospheric Geographical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA) or
other related institutions. Preferably, the records will be from the past twelve months of
2012 and should cover the location in which the study will be conducted.
4.5.2 Average Daily Rainfall Intensity
From the data that will be obtained, the average daily rainfall intensity can be
calculated. An assumption will be made that the average daily rainfall intensity will be
the source of the water content of the soil and then we can conclude an optimum rainfall
intensity that can cause non-seismic landslides at a certain place.









1. Proposal of the project

2. Preparation of materials
3. Collection and preparation of
4. Testing of sample
(GSD, Atterberg limit, slump test)
5. Gathering of data
6. Analysis of data
7. Preparation and submission of final
8. Final defend of project



Costs of Materials







Cylindrical frustum



Costs of Laboratory Tests


Cost per sample








Other costs (food and transportation): P3000.00





In the work of Mendez-Sanchez et al, the soil samples that they have acquired
have high contents of aluminium and silicon. Besides, a low content of Iron and
Titanium was observed in this material. In its particle size distribution, 60% of the
particle sizes are in the range between 300 and 1250 microns, the 10% are in the
interval 1250 2360 microns, and the rest 30% of the particle size is shorter than 200
In a plot of yield stress versus water concentration shown below, contents lower
than 35.5% of moisture content decreases the yield strength exponentially with
concentration. At this point, it is practicable to explain an increment in the landslide risk,
since the specimen has transformed from solid-plastic to solid-viscous behaviour.
(Mendez-Sanchez et al)



Bargasa, R, et al. (2012). Effects of Sugarmill Lime Sludge on the Permeability of

Adtuyon Clay.
Butler, J.: 1976, Natural Disasters , Victoria, Heinemann.
Mendez-Sanchez A. et al. Influence of humidity on yield stress determination by
slump test of slip-prone clayey soils and their relation with the chemical properties.

A manuscript draft submitted for the course Applied Science.

Pashias N., Boger D. V., Summers J. and Glenister D. J., 1996, A fifty cent

rheometer for yield stress measurement, Journal of Rheology, 40, 6, 1179-1189.

R.P. Orense, Slope Failures Triggered by Heavy Rainfall, Philippine Engineering

Journal, submitted for publication (2004)

R.P. Orense, S.E. Sapuay and E.B. Billedo, Characteristics of the 2004 sedimentrelated disasters in Quezon Province, Philippines triggered by tropical cyclones,

Journal of Natural Disaster Science, submitted for publication (2005)

Snchez Crz, P., 2008, Anlisis del esfuerzo de cedencia de


arcillosos como posible indicador de un derrumbe, Bachelor Thesis at ESFM,


Instituto Politcnico Nacional, Mxico.

Sidle, R.C, Pearce, A.J and Oloughlin, C.L .: 1985, Hill Slope Stability and Land
Use, Water Resources Monograph Series, No. 11 , Washington D.C, American

Geophysical Union.
Sultanov, K.S., Khusanov, B.E., 2001, State equations for soils prone to
slump-type settlement with allowance for degree of wetting, Soil Mechanics and

Foundations Engineering, 38, 3, 80-86.