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# Proc.

## IVth International Conference and

Field Workshop on T , ~ n d s l i d e s ,1 9 8 5 , Tokyo

## A New Method for Predicting the Failure

Time of a Slope
Fukuzonu, T.
Sationrl It~nearuhCcntcr for Disaster Prrvcntion
Ihnraki, Japan

SmOPSIS
A basic formula on

## the veloclty of surface displacement just before t h e f a l l u r e o f a slape is

clear t h a t the curves wrltten by each p o i n t of t h e inverse number of t h e
v c l o c ~ t yof surface diaplacernent are divided into three k i n d s of forms, these a l e linear, convex a n d
concave and decrease u n ~ i o r r n l y ~n a n y case. In t h e c a s e o f a l i n e a r c u r v e , t h e failure t r m e of a
slope can be exactly predicted b y the p o l n t at w h i c h the straignt line c r o s s e s the axls of absclssa.
In the case of a convex or concave curve, the .allure tlme c a n be roughly p c c d ~ c t e dby t h e point at
which the tangential line at each point of the curve c r o s s c s the axls of a b s c ~ s s a . Furthermore, ~t
1s clear t h a t the curve writtcn by each t l m e p r e d ~ c t e droughly is linear.
So t h e f a l l u r e t i m e c a n
be exactly predicted by t h e point a t w h i c h t h e straight line crosses the axls of absclssa.
The
avallabilrty 01 these methods IS shown b y a p p l i c a t i o n t o some types of slope failure.
INTRODUCTION
The new method f o r predicting t h e f a i l u r e
t i m e of a slope proposed i n t h l s p a p e r is a
method using t h e variations of surface d ~ s p l a c e ment just b e f m r e tltc failure.
Saito and Uezawa ( 1 9 6 1 ) performed many creep
tests of so11 and proposed t h a t t h e increment O
t h e loqarithm o f crecp r u p t u r e llfe (dl 1 s
proportional to the logarithm eE straln rate ( k ' )
in the secondary creep. That is

log[de)

.I

.= c-m.log(E)--------------------

(1

## w h e r e c=2.33+0.59 a n d m=0.916 are constants.

A ~ ~ u m i nthat
g
m e q u a l s 1 a n d t; is t h e time
to failure a t each t i m e ( t ) in t h e s t a g e of
tertlary creep, the equatlon w a s appllcd to
prcdlct t h e f a l l u s e time of a slopa ( S a i t o ,
1965).
T h a t lo

log(L-k)

is 1 / B .
H u t t h e factor can be d e c i d e d not b e f o t e
b u t after t h e f a t l u r e , because t h e values of 5
a r e different a t each slope failure.
Tn t h ~ wp a p c r , a new method f o r predicting
t h e failure time u s i n g the inverse number of
velocity of surface displacement 1s proposed.
I n the case o f cquatlontz), the failure time can
be exactly predicted by t h l s m e t h o d .
Also i n
t h e case of equationtJ), tile fallure tlme c a n be
e x a c t l y p r e d i c t e d b y u s l n g more than two rough
f a ~ l u r etime known at different time.
BASIC F'ORMJLA FOR VELOCITY OF SURFACE
DISPLnCEMENT JUST BEFORE FAILURE
Thc variations of surface displacement in
slope failure caused by rainfall w a s studied i n
m a n y k ~ n d sof e x p e r i m e n t a l models arp shown ~n
F i g . 1 b y Fukuzono and Terashlma(l982) a n d

= c-log(&)--------------------I 2 1

## tl is t h e failure time and

i s strain rate.
Based on these formulas Ill and ( 2 1 , Saito
proposed t w o ways w h i c h are r o u g h predlctasn
methods, by the strain rate I n the secondary
creep range, for long term and exact predlctlon
by calculation and graphical a n a l y s l s using t h e
surface dlsplacement or s t r a i n lust before t h e
f a i l u r e i n the t e r t i a r y creep range.
But In the
t e r t i a r y c r e e p range, some slope failures which
are not represented by t h e equation(2) have been
reported by Yarnaguchl(l978). In these cases,
the proportional number o f t h r logarlthm of the
time to fallure and t h e logarlthm of the s t r a i n
rate IS n o t u n i t y as shown below:

40" f l a t

40"mvex

30' flat

3o0con-

where

where A a n d B a r e c o n s t a n t s .
B a s e d on thc cguation(31, Yamaquchi(l978)
has proposed t h a t the f a i l u r e time can be exactly
predicted by multiplying the t i m e obtained by
Salto's m e t h o d by the f a c t o r of correctlcn, t h a t

Fig. 1

## Profiles o f four typs of

experimental models.

## Fukuzono(l984). It has b e e n made clear that the

l o g a r i t h m of accelelatlon o f s u r f a c e displacement
increases i n proportion to the loqarithm of
vel o c t~y of surface displacement as shown
in Fig.2 and 3 .
The relatlon l a

## where x is downward surface dlsplacement: d\$/dt'

is acceleration: d x / d t is v e l o c ~ t y ; a and 6 a r e
constants.

-refore
t h e relationship b e t w e e n t h e v e l o c i t y
o f surface displacement and the time t o fallure
j u s t before t h e f a i l u r e is generally represented
by the equatlon ( 7 ) or ( 8 ) .

3d
1
'

FLAT.LCIAM
( 4 0 to 2 min.
before failure )

(40 to 2 min.

before failure)

a=2.0

.:"
*.

A METHOD W R

## where l/v is l/(dx/dt), that is inverse number

of v e l o c i t y of surface displacement.
T h e equatlon s h o w s t h a t t h e c u r v e d r a w n for
each p o i n t of t a n d l / v is l i n e a r i f 64=2,convex
~f d ) 2 and c o n c a v e if l ) d ) 2 and that t h e value

u n ~ f o r m l ydecreases. T y p i c a l figures of t h e
curve are illustrated i n Pig.4.
In any case,
the curve CainF near to tp As t h e velocity is
flnite, The relationship is n o t r e p r e s e n t e d b y
t h e equation ( 9 ) at t h e near perlod of t,.
But
the period 1 s very short, so In t h ~ spaper ~t
t r is assumed t o be t h e f a i l u r e time. me.

## Pig.2 The relatlmship betthe velocity

and the acceleration of surface displacement
in the f m a l stage of slope f a l P m
on the 40' and 30' lm slapes.

Iun,mmxldi

40'

10'

SAND,pLAT
(2lhnin. to 30sec.

40'

(25min. to 30sec
k
fo m fail? 1

before f u u r e )

-.

". Failure
.. -

Ln

L1

>
H

-*

time: t
'Ihe relationship b e t m the v e l a c i t y
and the acceleration of surface d~spla-t
j u s t before the fallure of the sand s l ~ p ewith

Fig.3
40'

a)O

## Typical figures of the changes

of the Inverse n-r
of velocity of surface
d i s p l a m n t just before the falure.

Fig. 4

## mnvex and 40" flat bases.

Equation ( 4 ) i s i n t e g r a t e d
as follows:

a<l---e

dt

1-

I
1-4
+

for t h e range of

(t+t)&-----------

15

## I n the case of d = 2 , the failure time can be

exactly predicted by a point t at which t h e
straight l ~ n eof inverse number of veloclty
crosses t h e a x i s of a b s c i s s a . Also using t h e
i n v e r s e numbers o f v e l o c i t y at two different
times, the failure tlme c a n be calculated as
follows;

## where t,, t, and t, are constants of i n t e g r a l .

d was i n a range 1.5 to 2.2 il the
experiments.
Also the values calculated from t h e
relationship between the v e l o c l t y of surface
displacement and the time to failure i n a c t u a l
s l a p e failure which were proposed by Yoshlda and
Yachl ( 1 9 8 4 ) are 1 . 7 0 to 2.13.
Furthermore, t h e
equation ( 7 1 is transformed as follows:
log (tp-t

la

r
= A-B

dx
.log (-1
dt

---------------- (8)

## where 6=-log (d-11

; BLd-1
The form of the equation I & ) becomes similar
to the equation ( 3 1 , if
is substituted f o r d x / d t .

## I n the case of d = 2 , t h e failure t i m e

p r e d i c t e d by these methods equals t h e time
p r e d i c t e d by Saito's method I n the range of error
of caLculation and drawlng, because t h e b a s i c
formula h a s the same form.
In the case of ds.2. the f a i l u r e time can be
roughly p r e d i c t e d by t h e p o i n t at which the
t a n g e n t line o f the curve of inverse number of
velocity at any time crosses the axis of
abscissa.
Also the failure time can be e x a c t l y
predicted by the next method.

he e q u a t i o n

( 7 ) 1 s differentiated

by t and

rearranged as follow;

## Another g r a p h i c a l method 1 s s h o w n i n Fig.6.

In this method, polnts PI and P, are p l o t t e d in a
vertical direction n o t at p o l n t s T , a n d T 2 b u t a t
points TC,a n d T I

## T h i s equatlon shows t h a t the c u r v e drawn far

v a l u e of (l/vl/(dllJv)/dt) and t is
linear and uniformly decreases. S o the failure
t r m e can be exactly predicted by the time at
w h l c h the curve is expected to c r o s s t h e axis o f
abscissa. Also using t h e i n v e r s e number of
velocity and t h e increment of oncs at two
d i f f e r e n t tlmes t h e failure time can be
c a l c u l a t e d by t h e n e x t e q u a t i o n ;
each

## F u r t h e r m o r e , a grayhlcal method bascd on the

curve of i n v e r s e numbex of veloclty i s shown I n
Fig.5.
F i r s t , a tangent llne is drawn at a n y
point Q, which is I n a vertlcal d ~ r e c t i o nto the
a x i s nf a b s c i s s a from point TI, on t h e curve. Tci
is t h e polnt at which the tangent l l n e crosses
the a x i s of abscissa. A is plotted at the point
w h i c h is apart f r o m the abscissa In a v e r t i c a l
d i r e c t i o n for t h e same distance o f
In the
s a m e way, P, is plotted.
The abscissa t, of the
point Tr a t which a s t r a i g h t l l n e connecting P,
and P,crasses the a x l s of abscissa i s t h e f a ~ l u r e
time.

m<,

Ti m e : t

F i g . 6 Another g r a p h i c a l method
for predlctlnq t h e t i m e o f slope
f a i l u r e In t h e case of 6 4 2 .

C u r v e of inverse number

## These proposed m e t h o d s were applied to some

k i n d s of slope failure executed e x p e r i m e n t a l l y
I n t h e p a s t to estzmate t h e availab~lity. An
example w h l c h was a p p l i e d to t h e failure of the
4 0 " loam slope w l t h a flat bottom boundary
parallel to t h e surface is shown in Flg.7.
The
curve of inverse number o f velocity of surface
displacement 1 s convex in t h e period from 60
r n l n u t e s to 10 m i n u t e s before failure and l x n e a r
from 1 0 m l n u t e s t o 2 0 seconds before Eallure.
u s i n g the tangent llne of t h e curve the failure
time can be predicted to w i t h i n an error of 1
m i n u t e in t h e period from 10 minutes to 20
s e c o n d s before failure. A l s o a curve obtained by
Time:

t
O-.

Graphical method f o r
predicting t h e time of slope failure
i n t h e c a s e of d f 2 .
Fig.

Ry a method
f o r t h e case

T'f'

of d f 2

The t h e o r y is v e r i f i e d a s f o l l o w s ;
in Fig. 5
m-mand T, 0-TI 0 are substituted for TI Tba n d
T h a t is

.-

(ma)
/(mJequals (m&
/ (-J

m,

## - - P I T , ' T , O - P J T x ' T ~ O ----T+O=

PI TI
- Pa Tr
--

(13

A l s o , ~ i ; ~ , = ~ , / t a PA
n T
~ p,T ,t ~ T ~ Q , q / t a n 8 --(I41
z
As t h e lines of Q,TtI and Q,Tczare t h e tangent Ilnes

## on the curve of inverse number o f veloclty at t h e

point Q , a n d Q, (times are t I a n d t~):
t a n B, =

- (r"('/v)

I,, t a n

-~
dt

60
50
40
30
20
~ ~ z - - -T l(failure
l ~( m)
m e to
inutes)

io

m=4,m=tl,
V P ( ~m
/V
z=
)(,l,/ ~ ) I F i g . 7 V a r ~ a t i o no f the Inverse number of
v e l x l t y and surface displacement In the failure
The equations ( 1 4 1 , ( 1 5 ) and ( 1 6 ) are
of the 40" loam slope with a flat b t t m h d a r y
substituted f o r the equation ( 1 3 ) and after the
parallel to the surface.
transformation, e q u a t i o n / 1 2 ) i s obtained.

Also,

m~th

---- ( I 6 )

Failure

## a graphical m e t h o d in t h e case of d+Z is shown i n

thc same f i q u r e .
As O: 1 s not constant a l l the
time, the c u r v e i s n o t l ~ n c a r . B u t the failure
time predlcted by t h c c u r v e is more e x a c t t h a n
the time p r e d l c t e d by t h e crossing p o i n t of t h e
tangent line of t h e curve of inverse number o f
v e l o c 3 . t y and the a x i s o f abscissa and t h e alarm

1.

/':

Inverse number of
velocity

## for evacuation c a n be g i v e n more safely.

Another example which was a p p l ~ e dto the
f a l l u r e of the 30' loam s l o p e with a flat bottom
boundary parallel to t h e surface i s s h o w n in
Fiq.8.
In this c a s e , t h e curve 1s linear a t 30
mlnutes b e f o r e failure.
So the faxlure time can
be exactly p r e d l c t e d from approximately 3 0
m i n u t e s before allure by u s l n g o n l y the c u r v e
of inverse n u m b e r o f v e l o c i t y .

FLAT. LOAH

30'

2 30T40

## Fig. lO Variatlms of t h inver*

~
.cudxr
of velrxlty and surface d_lsplacemnt in the
failurc of the 40' sandy sol1 slope w i t h
a convex httan boundary.

Inverse n u m b e r of

"

20

50

40

30

20

Inverw number

lo Fa,,.!,

Time te f a i l u r e [ m i n u t e s 1

## Variatlm o f the inverse n m k r of

velocity and surface dsplacement In the failure
of the 30' Iwm slope with, a f l a t h t t w n k m d a r y
fig. 8

1
2 l D pYE:

o;%s<\4

"2

## O t h e r e x a m p l e s which were applied to t h e

f a i i u r e of the s a n d y sol1 slope a r e shown i n
Fig.9-11. Usuallyn the duration from the beginning
of s u r f a c e m o v e m e n t to the final failure in sandy
soil slope i s s h a r t c r than t h e one i n loam slope
and t h e p a t t e r n is vcry complex. N e v e r t h l e s s t h e
f a l l u r e t i m e c a n be sufficiently p r e d l c t e d by
t h e curve of inverse number o f v e l o c ~ t y ,

f
LY

+
.

40

20
'Flm to f a i l u r e ( m i n u t e s 1 Fa1 lure

## Fig. ll Varlatlms of the lnversc nunJber of

-rrelocity and s u f a c e displacement i n &
failure of t k 30' sandy SOIL slope w i t h a
flat b t t m boundary p a l l e l to the surface.

## APPLICATIONS UNDER FAILURE OF MODEL SLOPES

h

Inverse n m k r of

2+202

40

## Two slope models havlng t h e ground surfaces

4 0 a n d 3 0 degrees p a r a l l e l to the i m p e r v i o u s
bottom boundary w i t h mortar and both sldes
bounded by vertical s t e e l walls, were prepared t n
estimate the availability of the proposed mcthod
to p r e d l c t the f a ~ l u r etime ag are ahawn UI
Fiq.12.
The sorl layers were made from t h e c o h e s l v ~
sol1 of volcanic a s h (called XANTO LOAM) having
a liquid-limlt of 0 0 . 6 \$, a p l a s t i c i t y i n d e x of
1 8 . 2 , a coheslan of 70 q/crn: an a n g l e o f
of

\$Y

30

20

lo

pailbre

Time to failure ( m i n u t e s l
of
R g . 9 Variations of the i n v e r s e nu*r
velcxrlty and surface aspla-nt
In t h e
f a l l u r e of rhe 40" sandy sol1 slqw! with a
flat h t t m boundary ~ r a l l e to
l tth surface.

## internal frictlnn of 2 0 " u n d e r the dry density

of 0 - 4 7 q/cm3 and a w a t e r c o n t e n t equivalent, t o
100 8 of d r y weight. The initial conditions a n d
m a j o r results of the experiments a r e shown *n
Table I. An over vlew of t h e 30' slope model
~ u s tbefore the e x p e r i m ~ n t 1s shown i n Photo. 1.

I n l t l a l condrtions a n d m a j o r
results of experiments.
Table 1

Mater1al:KAATO

LOAM
4o0slW
Ory

Ig/cm3)

density

30"slope
0.49

0.49

f n l t i a l water content ( % )

100.1

99.8

Rainfall ~ntensity

[mn/h)

20

20

Failure t

(mm.)

280.6

500.7

Concrete foundatlo
4 0 " SLOPE MODEL
The 40' slope model undeswent small scale
collapse 4 h o u r s 40 mlnutes 37 seconds a f t e r the

30'

A9

LOAM, FLAT

Materia1:KANTO LOAM
Width:400, Uni+.:cm

---*

Final sllding
surf ace

waswing p i n &
o f surface

,q

'

b e g i n n i n g of r a i n f a l l .
A final slldlng surface
1 s drawn by a broken llne i n Pig. 12.
Three curves of the i n v e r s e n u m b e r of
veloclty of surface displacement obtained under
experiment at t h e measuring point 2 , 3 and 4 a r e
s h o w n I n Flg. 13. T h e inverse numbers. of
veloclty a t e a c h t i m e w e r e c a l c u l a t e d by a
dlgltal c o m p u t e r from the d i g ~ t a lvalue lnto
whlch a A-D c o n v e r t e r c h a n g e d the o u t p u t s of
extensometers and were p l o t t e d continuously by
a X-Y plotter.

30'
G.C.

Pig.12

## Fmfiles of s l p mxlels by loam of 40'

and 30" in surface gradient w i t h a flat bottm
boundary parallel kc t h e surface.

13:OO
+.

13:30

Time

L4.00

1 I

4 1 ,'IL

~al-ure

## pig.13 Variations of the inverse n m h r of

~ l c e i t yunder falPure of t k 40' loam slupe.

## A l l curves were convex, so t h e failure time

could not be predicted exactly, b u t roughly.
I f one of the methods proposed i n t h e case of 6 % 2
was a p p l i c d , it mlght be posslble to predict the
failure time e x a c t l y .

slope v:c&l
Ptrrto. 1 -,::e:- 3f 5P.e 3 2? ' ;?a:
k f y r e t h e kyinnlna of e x p e r k n t .

Artificial r a l n f a l l was s u p p l i e d

## continuously by a large scale rainfall s ~ m u l a t o r

l n National R e s e a r c h C e n t e r f o r Disaster
Prevention at an intensity of 2 D mm/h for the
b o t h slope m o d e l s .
Surface displacement were m e a s u r e d by m e a n s
of extensometers having t h e accuracy of 0.1 mm
at 5 rneasurlng points I n each model as are s h o w n
In F i q . 1 2 .

30- SLOPE W D R L
The 3 0 " slope model u n d e r w e n t m i d d l e scale
collapse 8 h o u r s - 2 0 r n i n u t ~ s 41 seconds a f t ~ rthe
beqinnlng o f rainfall. A f i n a l sliding surface
is drawn by a broken Line I n Fig. 12.
T h r e e curvnR oE inverse number of velocity
of s u r f a c e d i ~ p l a c e r n e n tn b t a i n e d u n d e r e x p e r i m e n t
a t t h e m e a s u r ~ n gpoints 2 , 3 a n d 4 are shown
I n Fig. 14.
Ths v a l u e s of e a c h t i m e w e r e
obtained t h e same way as in t h e case of 4 0 ' slope
model.
In this c a s e , the curves were linear E r o m
30 minutes before failure. I n splte of t h e fact
that t h e gradients of t h e t h r e e curves were
different each othcr, a l l curves came toward a
same p o i n t on the a x j s oP a b s c j s s a , t h a t i s t h e
failure t i m e .
The variation of t h e lnverse
number of velocity at measuring polnt 3 was

CONCLUSION

## a new method for predlctinq

been proposed.
T h e major d l s t i n c t l v e f e a t u r e of t h e rnpthod i s
that the i n v e r s e number of velocity and n o t the
displacement or strain rate in s u r f a c e 1 s used to
predict the failure trme. The f a i l u r e t i m e c a n
be easlly predicted by using a curve drawn
continuously by t h e lnverse numbers of velocity
of surface displacement at each tame. Also in
cases that c a n n o t be exactly p r e d ~ c t e d by Saito's
method, t h e rough fallure trme can be e a s i l y
predicted b y u s i n g the tangent llne of t h e curve
and exactly predicted by a s t r a ~ g h t l i n e d r a w n
by the rough predicted time.
It is hoped that the proposed method will
apply in practical s l o p e f a i l u r e .
f n t h i s paper

the failure t l m e

o f a slope has

## Varlations of the inverse n-r

of
velocity under farlure of the 30"loam slope.

fig.14

monitored w i t h t h e v i e w of f a i l u r e on a
television. T h e s e are shown in Photograph 2 and
Using t h e s e m e t h o d s t h e e x a c t failure time
3.
c o u l d be predicted continuously from
approximately 30 minutes before fallure and t h e
experiment was closed successfully,

## The experiments were performe8 by uslng a

large s c a l e rainfall s l r n u l a t o r i n National
Research Center f o r D i s a s t e r Prevention.
H , A o k i , a t e c h n l c l a n assisted In t h e operation
t h e simulator.
T h l s assistance i s gratefully

of

acknawledgod.

REFERENCES

## Fukuzono, T. and Terashima, H . (1982)

Experimental study of t h e process of f a i l u r e
ln cohesive soil slope caused by rainfall (in
Japanese), the Report o f the National Research
Center for Disaster Pceventlan, 2 9 , pp. 1 0 3 - 1 2 2 .
F u k u z o n o , T. ( 1 9 8 4 )
A method f o r predicting the
failure time of a s a n d y soil s l o p e u s ~ n gt h e
i n v e r s e number o f velocity [in Japanese), Proc.
of 23rd Meeting of J a p a n Landslide Society,
p p . 80-&1.

## Saito. M. and U e z a w a , H . (1961) Failure of soil

due to creep, Proc. of 5 t h I. C. S. M. F. E . ,
pp. 315-318

## M . 2 V s w of X-Y plotter plotL ~ r ~r>vr~r.-r-.

q
n W r of velaclty under expermnt.

M. I 1 9 6 5 1
Forcasting the time of
occurrence of a slope failure, Prec. of 6th
I . C . S. M. F. E . , pp. 5 3 7 - 5 4 1 .

Saito,

Yamaguchi, S . ( 1 9 7 8 )
Some notices of
countermeasure for landslide and slope failure
( ~ Jna p a n e s e ) , Landslide Prevention and Slope
Stability 2 , S o q o Doboku Laboratory, pp. 1 4 - 2 4 .

## Yoshida, T. and Yachi, M. ( 1 9 8 4 ) On the velocity

of landslide (in J a p a n e s e ) , Proc. of 23rd
Meeting of Japan Landslide Society, pp. 1 3 6 139.

m . 3 Y l c w of t . r l c v ~ ~ l oshowing
n
inverse
n m k r of w l m l t y untkr exprirrent.