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Stability evaluation of road-cut slopes

in the Lesser Himalaya of Uttarakhand,
India: conventional and numerical
Rajesh Singh, R. K. Umrao & T. N. Singh

Bulletin of Engineering Geology and
the Environment
The official journal of the IAEG
ISSN 1435-9529
Bull Eng Geol Environ
DOI 10.1007/s10064-013-0532-1

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The two-dimensional conventional limit equilibrium method and a numerical technique based on the finite element method were used to analyze the cut slopes. while rock sequences exposed in the north of the MCT constitute the Higher Himalaya. such as road widening and the construction of dams. Unplanned excavations performed by blasting have resulted in these cut slopes that are on the verge of instability. Singh (&)  R. Keywords FoS  LEM  FEM  Slope stability  Rudraprayag  Mandakini Introduction Landslides are a natural hazard that affect at least 15 % of the land area of India ([0. India: conventional and numerical approaches Rajesh Singh • R. Powai. injuries. as well as environmental degradation. Transportation. seismic activity. public networks. and/or various kinds of human intervention. However. Such slopes become vulnerable under the influence of factors such as heavy rainfall. The increasing human population and its overexploitation of natural resources pose a threat to these slopes. Singh Received: 19 July 2013 / Accepted: 3 October 2013 Ó Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013 Abstract The hilly terrains of Himalaya are among the most vulnerable of the regions of India due to natural hazards. and all kinds of socioeconomic activities that occur in the high hills of the Lesser Himalaya are entirely dependent upon the local road and highway network in this region. northeastern India. a slope stability analysis was performed of road-cut slopes along about 20 km of NH-109 from Rudraprayag to Agastmuni in the state of Uttarakhand in India. but are increasing in frequency due to large-scale human activities.Author's personal copy Bull Eng Geol Environ DOI 10. Singh Department of Earth Sciences. leading to loss of life and damage to property. All of these activities increase the vulnerability of rock masses to failure when those masses are already subject to alarmingly high levels of natural stress. Sharda 2008). N. Any kind of slope failure can lead to disruption of traffic.1007/s10064-013-0532-1 ORIGINAL PAPER Stability evaluation of road-cut slopes in the Lesser Himalaya of Uttarakhand. The Lesser Himalaya represent a tectonically active zone that is characterized by a very complex 123 . dynamic loading. Various kinds of landslides frequently occur in the geodynamically active domains of Himalaya. K. Umrao  T. N. tunnels. the stability of the slopes that have been cut to construct and/or widen roads and highways is a major concern in hilly regions. and connections between valleys and main roads. Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. Based on field observations and variations in geological and geotechnical conditions. The MBT separates the Lesser Himalaya from Siwalik. The rock sequences exposed between the Main Boundary Fault (MBT) and the Main Central Thrust (MCT) constitute the Lesser Himalaya. Mumbai 400076. losses of property and lives. and the Nilgiri mountains (part of the Western Ghats) of Southern India. bridges. Huge losses of property and human life are reported every year in Uttarakhand state. India e-mail: georajeshsingh@gmail. Different kinds of landslides occur frequently in the tectonically and geodynamically active region of Himalaya. including a laboratory study and numerical analysis. Landslides have devastating consequences. The results of the analyses performed using both methods aided R. Landslides in the Himalayan region occur naturally due to neotectonic activity. K. and high rainfall. five locations were chosen for detailed in identifying potentially vulnerable slopes and enabled us to compare the two methods. This comparative analysis of slope stability provided a deeper understanding of this issue. In the present study. Umrao • T. seismic waves (earthquakes).49 million km2.

due to flash flooding by the Mandakini River. In the study reported in the present paper.500 N. as does the use of the incorrect amount of explosive charge for blasting. The finite element method (FEM) technique has been widely utilized to assess the stability of various types of slopes across the globe (Chang and Huang 2005. Moreover. which runs from Rudraprayag to Kedarnath along the Mandakini River and joins NH-58 at Rudraprayag (Fig.3000 N. discontinuum. Uttarakhand. Several major and minor landslides are reported every year. These samples were cored in the laboratory and specimens were prepared. Five vulnerable locations were selected for stability evaluation. A view of the Mandakini River and the slopes along NH-109 is shown in Fig. which killed 20 people and injured several others. including the Phata and Byung Gad landslides. The Rudraprayag–Kedarnath highway (NH-109) was worst affected. These roads were constructed by excavating hill slopes. The study was carried out along the NH-109. which caused a huge loss of property. a cloudburst and heavy rainfall in the area resulted in flash flooding and numerous landslides that led to the deaths of pilgrims and local people. and are excavated again from time to time to widen the roads and for maintenance purposes without performing proper geotechnical investigations and implementing the appropriate protection measures.650 and 600 m. 1a). The study area between Rudraprayag (30°170 6. Continuum approaches used in slope stability analysis include finite difference and finite element methods. India was evaluated. Rudraprayag is situated at the confluence of the Mandakini and the Alaknanda rivers. and hybrid modeling. resulting in traffic disruption for hours or even days. 79°00 32. India. based on variations in lithology. 2013. The Main Central Thrust (MCT) and Almora Thrust mark the boundary of the Garhwal Group (Kumar and Agrawal 1975). depositing a large quantity of debris at the foot of the hill. Mansour and Kalantari 2011). Jing and Hudson 2002. evaluations of the cut-slope rock masses in the Lesser Himalaya are an important means to identify potentially vulnerable locations. In this hilly territory of Himalaya. These lead to roadblocks in these areas and activate the landslide process. 1981). There are several conventional and numerical techniques that are used to evaluate the stability of rock slopes (Coggan et al. landslide activity on the hill slopes cut off this part of the country for many days. In Rudraprayag district. Gupte et al. upon which various geomechanical experimental tests were performed as per the suggested methods of the International Society for Rock Mechanics (ISRM 1978. weak rock.Author's personal copy R. respectively (Fig. Singh et al. 1998. 2013). Representative rock samples were collected from the slope faces. structure of thrust sheets (Kumar 1971). and to facilitate appropriate maintenance. Geological setting of study area The study area occurs in the Garhwal Group of the Lesser Himalaya.400 E) occurs within toposheet numbers 53J/15 and 53N/3 on the Survey of India toposheets. 2012. The Garhwal Group consists of a thick succession of low-grade . transportation and communication with other parts of the country are entirely dependent on the highways and road networks of the region. 2003). Excavating without performing a proper geotechnical investigation of the strength of the rock mass and the appropriate slope angle further weakens the cut slopes. the stability of rock slopes in road-cut sections of the Lesser Himalaya in Rudraprayag district. Continuum modeling is the most popular modeling technique and is best suited to analyzing slopes that consist of massive intact rock. Study area The study area lies in the Rudraprayag district. 2011. Singh et al. Ahmad et al. which attract hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. and slope geometry. the Mandakini River was blocked by numerous landslides triggered by heavy rainfall in the third week of July 2001. In 2005. The stability of each hill-cut slope was examined by the two-dimensional conventional limit equilibrium (Slide v. This town is an important place as it is used as a stopover by pilgrims and travelers on their way to the world-famous holy shrines of Badrinath and Kedarnath. The excavated cut slopes are subvertical to vertical in attitude.6) and finite element (Plaxis v. Numerical methods that are used in rock slope stability investigations may be divided into three approaches: continuum. Heavy rainfall also plays a very important role in these areas. and soil-like or heavily jointed rock masses (Jing and Hudson 123 2002). to enhance safety. 78°580 5900 E) and Agastmuni (30°230 3. Umrao et al. 2. Another landslide occurred in Uttarkashi on 24 September 2003. 2012. In June 2013. Chen and Shao 1988.8) techniques. Uttarakhand. A contour map of the area indicates that the highest and lowest elevations are 1. Zhu et al. structure. a landslide along a seasonal tributary caused heavy losses of infrastructure in the town of Agastmuni and killed 4 people (Sarkar and Kanungo 2005). Drilling and blasting methods are usually used to excavate these hill slopes. which comprises diverse rock types of Paleoproterozoic to Mesoproterozoic ages. Conventional techniques include kinematic analysis and limit equilibrium techniques (Umrao et al. 1b). Field investigations were carried out to study the lithological and structural variations in rock slopes along a 20 km section of the NH-109 between Rudraprayag and Agastmuni. Thus. Fig. Along the joint planes.Author's personal copy Stability evaluation of road-cut slopes Fig. Acidic and basic igneous rocks intrude into the rocks of the Garhwal Group. epidiorites. Tilwara metavolcanics. Tilwara metavolcanics are mainly composed of feldspar 123 . and talc are present as infilling material.aster. Deoban. 3). respectively (source: http://www. This rock formation has undergone three phases of tectonic deformation (Kumar and Agrawal 1975). which are light to very dark green in color. Kumar 2005). (1980) provided a detailed report on the geology and structure of the Rudraprayag-Tilwara-Mayali area. and epidote as their mineral major constituents. Tilwara quartzites.ersdac. Rudraprayag metavolcanics are massive as well as jointed rock masses with quartz. showing exposed hill-cut slopes along NH-109 as well as the slope at the banks of the river metasediments made up of quartzites along with penecontemporaneous metabasics and carbonate rocks. pyroxene. known as the Uttarkashi. Rautgara. 2 A view of the Mandakini River. Tilwara metavolcanics. and Berinag formations (in ascending order. chert. The rock types exposed in the study area are Rudraprayag metavolcanics.gdem. Khattukhal. (1972) and Kumar and Agrawal (1975). b Contour map indicating that the highest and lowest elevations in the region are 1. plagioclase. The Garhwal Group has been further divided into five formations.650 and 600 m. The name Haryali quartzite was given by Kumar and Agrawal (1975) to a poorly metamorphosed and thick-bedded quartzite that varies from white to purple/ pink in color and is well exposed between Rudraprayag and Tilwara. Negi et al. jasper. The stratigraphy of the Garhwal Group was initially formulated by Mehdi et al. are more metamorphosed and deformed than Rudraprayag metavolcanics. and Rampur chlorite phyllites/Schist (Fig. 1 a Map of the study area (Rudraprayag–Agastmuni road section) along NH-109. Haryali quartzites.

Haryali quartzites. orientation. ilmenite. Structural parameters were evaluated during the field investigation. the quartzites are metamorphosed into talc-quartzites. A kinematic study of the area was reported by Umrao et al. Singh et al. Most of the formations in the study area have been intruded by sills and dykes of dolerite. and epidote as minor constituents. (2011). The results of the laboratory tests of the geomechanical strength parameters of the intact rock samples indicated that there are a number of discontinuities in the . persistence.Author's personal copy R. Three to five sets of joints were observed in the study area. The light-to-dark-green friable chlorite phyllite/schist is best exposed on the right flank of the Mandakini River near Rampur. The basic rock mass rating (RMRbasic) in the study area varied from 85 (Rudraprayag metavolcanics) to 42 (phyllite). highly deformed. and more metamorphosed than Haryali quartzite. In the east of Tilwara. 1981). The continuous slope mass rating varied from 21. which were later highly metamorphosed and altered into epidiorite. Tilwara quartzites are thinbedded. namely epidiorite. whereas the Tilwara quartzites found towards Rampur are mainly of schistose type. Tilwara quartzite. with hornblende altering into chlorite and biotite. along with variations in the slope conditions. phyllite. 1979. 1980 and Kumar and Agrawal 1975) and pyroxene that are altered. as per methods suggested by the ISRM (1978. and separation) in the study area is provided in Umrao et al. roughness. 3 Regional geological map of the RudraprayagAgastmuni area (modified after Negi et al. A more detailed discussion of the joint parameters (such as spacing. and Rudraprayag metavolcanics. This investigation was accompanied by the collection of representative rock samples from different locations and types. Fig.64 (L5). Hornblende and plagioclase are the major mineral constituents. (2011). The Tilwara quartzite has an RMR that is very close to that of the phyllite. Methodology A geological field investigation was carried out to measure the joints and their patterns in the rock masses exposed on the slope surfaces. in order to determine the geomechanical properties of intact rocks in laboratory tests.11 (L2) to 123 67.

31 27. and the joint surface roughness (Hoek and Brown 1997). A flow chart for simulating slope stability. The rock mass properties were calculated using the Roclab software package.0 7 1. based on the Hoek–Brown failure criterion. the joint spacing. The geological strength index (GSI) is estimated by visually inspecting the condition of the exposed rock mass. such as the number of joints and their orientations.000 20. Circular and noncircular limit equilibrium methods consider the 123 . In this method. joint persistency. and is given by   GSI  100 mb ¼ mi exp : ð2Þ 24  14D Here. and varies from 0 (undisturbed) to 1 (blasting).000 2..91 26. ð1Þ rci where mb is a reduced value of the material constant mi.0 18 1. Input parameters such as the intact uniaxial compressive strength. geological strength index (GSI).0 18 1.Author's personal copy Stability evaluation of road-cut slopes Table 1 Parameters used to determine rock mass properties Parameters Epidiorite Tilwara quartzite Phyllite Haryali quartzite Rudraprayag metavolcaincs Uniaxial compressive strength (UCS) of intact rock (in MPa) 58 40 28 54 123 Geological strength index (GSI) 25 30 30 35 30 Material constant (Mi) Degree of disturbance (D) 22 1.91 28. Therefore. is shown in Fig.33 Cohesion (kPa) 90 80 46 132 184 Friction angle (°) 30 33 24 37 38 Tensile strength (kPa) 2. Limit equilibrium analysis The limit equilibrium method (LEM) is a traditional method of analyzing slope stability that is used to estimate FoS. using the following equation (Hoek et al.000 80.0 8. and the method of excavation (i.0 5.0 3. The stability of the material above the slip surface is analyzed by considering the static equilibrium of the individual slices and the entire equilibrium of the failing slope.0 6. from field data evaluations to laboratory experiments and numerical simulations. the material above the slip surface is divided into different vertical slices. 2002):  a r3 r1 ¼ r3 þ rci mb þs . these geomechanical properties of the intact rocks must be accounted for to obtain accurate rock mass properties.840 22. the disturbance factor D) were considered Location Rock type Height of the hill-cut slope (m) Slope angle (degrees) L1 Epidiorite 20 65 L2 Tilwara quartzite 18 75 L3 Phyllite 15 70 L4 Haryali quartzite 25 80 L5 Rudraprayag metavolcanics 30 65 when evaluating r1 and r3 for each rock mass (Table 1). LEM is based on the method of slices. Static equilibrium of the slices can be achieved by either removing or considering the interslice forces and the moment equilibrium of the slices.40 25. The obtained rock mass properties and slope geometries were used in simulations that performed LEM and FEM analysis of the slopes (Tables 2 and 3). s and a are constants that are given by the following relationships:   GSI  100 s ¼ exp ð3Þ 24  14D  1 1 a ¼ þ eGSI=15  e20=3 : ð4Þ 2 6 D is a factor that depends upon the degree of disturbance.000 Table 2 Rock mass properties used in the analysis Parameters Epidiorite Tilwara quartzite Phyllite Haryali quartzite Rudraprayag metavolcaincs Unit weight (kN/m3) 28.0 Intact modulus (Ei) (in MPa) 18.0 20 1. material constant (mi). 4.e.0 Table 3 Slope geometries at different locations exposed rock masses.

and is derived by summing forces in a vertical direction.e. Fig. The FoS calculated by Bishop’s simplified method agrees favorably with (i. there are no shear stresses between slices (Bishop 1955). 5a). The forces on the side of the slice are assumed to be horizontal. 5 a Method of slices. The primary limitation of Bishop’s simplified method is that it is limited to circular slip surfaces.e. Thus. i. Although the simplified Bishop’s method does not satisfy complete static equilibrium. 1973). is within about 5 % of) the FoS calculated using finite element procedures (Wright et al. limit equilibrium analysis of the slopes in this work was performed using Bishop’s . the procedure gives relatively accurate values for the FoS (Mansour and Kalantari 2011). Bishop (1955) showed that the simplified Bishop’s method is the more accurate method.. b The simplified Bishop’s method for analyzing circular failure in slopes cut into materials in which failure is defined by the Mohr–Coulomb failure criterion (Bishop 1955) equilibrium of the whole failing mass only. 5b). The simplified Bishop’s method based on method of slices has been used in limit equilibrium analysis to calculate the FoS at all locations (Fig. Singh et al. so the internal equilibrium of the sliding mass is not taken into consideration. The total normal force is assumed to act at 123 the center of the base of each slice. In these methods. 4 Generalized flow chart for slope stability simulation Fig. failure is assumed to occur with the rotation of a mass of rock/soil on a circular slip surface centered on a common point (Fig.Author's personal copy R. Such methods determine the FoS along a critical slip surface as the ratio between the shear strength of the surface and the shear stress acting on the surface..

123 . 7). friction angle.Author's personal copy Stability evaluation of road-cut slopes Fig. the graphical capabilities of the finite element method allow a better understanding of the failure plane and its mechanism. when pilgrims visit the holy shrine of Kedarnath. The slope geometry. elasto-plasticity. the material was assumed to be elastic. was used in the analysis performed in the present work. Singh et al. Global shear failure occurred when a sufficient number of nodes were generated to allow the mechanism to develop (Griffiths and Lane 1999). a finite element package for analyzing deformation and stability. and tensile strength of each rock mass (Table 2). strain-softening. Finite element analysis Results and discussion Among numerical analysis techniques. with the Mohr–Coulomb failure criteria. To analyze the cut slopes using the aforementioned methods. 6 Eight-node quadrilateral mesh used in the finite element method (Plaxis) simplified method as implemented by the Slide v. 6). Heavy rainfall. In the finite element method.8). Sarkar et al. Also. These joint sets have low persistence. continuum methods are best suited for the analysis of soil/rock slopes. The rock masses of the cut slopes were excavated by deficient blasting. including elasticity. which occurs during June to August. and elasto-viscoplasticity. sometimes leading to slope failures on a major or minor scale. especially from March to August. These codes offer a variety of constitutive models. 2011. comprising the slope angle and the height of the cut slope. Vibrations induced by heavy vehicular traffic reduce the frictional strength of the fractures. possibly due to repeated loading and unloading phenomena. The Plaxis software package is used for plane strain analysis of elastoplastic rock masses. and normal and shear stresses were generated at all of the nodes within the mesh and compared The rocks are deformed and highly jointed in some parts of the road-cut sections of NH-109. 2012). Three sets of joints were observed in the Tilwara quartzite. The cut slopes were analyzed using LEM and FEM methods to check their stabilities at five different locations (L1–L5). The finite element method is a powerful alternative for slope stability analysis that is more versatile and precise and utilizes fewer assumptions (Griffiths and Lane 1999). Also. and give us an idea of the displacement. and utilizes an 8-node quadrilateral mesh (Fig. 2008. These joints are closely spaced and have higher persistence as seen for phyllite (Fig. using the Mohr–Coulomb failure criteria under gravitational forces.6 software (Slide 2010). Plaxis 2D (v. 7 Closely spaced joints in phyllite resulting in a highly fractured rock mass Fig. is also required (Table 3). In the analysis. which widens joint spacing. Nodes within the Mohr–Coulomb failure envelope were considered elastic points and points outside the Mohr–Coulomb failure envelope were considered plastic points (Zienkiewicz and Cormeau 1974). Monjezi et al. data are required on the cohesion. slope failure occurs through zones in which the shear strength of the rock mass/soil is too low to be able to resist the shear stresses. These factors decrease the stability of the cut slopes. and most continuum codes can now incorporate distinct fractures such as faults and bedding planes (Sarkar and Singh 2008. this area experiences heavy road traffic. unit weight. reduces rock mass strength through surges in pore-water pressure.

and minimum safety factors for the cut-slope models at different locations (a–e refer to L1–L5. 8 Slopes signifying slip surfaces.Author's personal copy R. respectively) 123 . safety factor contours. Fig. Singh et al.

Author's personal copy Stability evaluation of road-cut slopes Fig. respectively) Limit equilibrium analysis Each slope was investigated using traditional LEM analysis as implemented by the two-dimensional Slide v. This may be due to more overburden stress on the slope. 8a). the slope mass will fall from the top of the slope 123 .6 software.e. slip surfaces are at a certain height from the toe of the slope. 8).55 and 1. slope failure may occur at the toe (Fig. At L2. The variation in the color of the slip surface indicates the FoS along the slip surface.. The slip surfaces at L1 are at the toe of the slope. The safety factors at the five slope locations were calculated using Bishop’s simplified method (Fig. i.44.e.. 9 Potential failure surfaces on slope faces (denoted by white lines). The global minimum slip surface is used in Bishop’s simplified method during the analysis with emphasis was placed on the slip surface with the lowest FoS in the analysis (Fig. i. respectively. showing the shear strain at different locations (a–e refer to L1–L5. 9a–e). which indicate that these slopes are almost stable. The FoS values at L1 and L2 are 1.

respectively) (Fig. Many slip surfaces are generated in the analysis with FoS values that are close to 1. the rock is stronger. The FoS value at L4 is 1. the FoS value is 2. 8b). These slip surfaces indicate that failure may occur near the toe (Fig. Finite element method The Plaxis codes for two-dimensional analysis are based on the finite element method utilizing the Mohr–Coulomb failure criteria and an 8-node quadrilateral mesh under . but the slope is higher and steeper. 8e). which could induce major failure (Fig.05. indicating a stable slope condition (Fig. 10 The total phase displacements at different locations (a–e refer to L1–L5. indicating that the slope is in a critical state—it is nearly unstable.Author's personal copy R. Singh et al. Fig. 8d). which is further confirmed by field observations.48. The slip surfaces indicate 123 that failure may occur near the toe of the slope.06. The FoS value of the slope at L3 is 1. Here. which may eventually lead to a critical slope. indicating that the slope is stable. At L5. 8c).

A vast zone was filled with plastic Table 4 FoS values for slopes at different locations Location Rock type Factor of safety (FoS) LEM 2D (slide) FEM 2D (Plaxis) 1.39 L1 Epidiorite 1.44 1. The FoS values of slopes investigated at five different locations (L1–L5) using LEM and FEM techniques are summarized in Table 4 (Fig. disintegration of the rock mass. with a calculated FoS = 0. The probable failure surface (curve AB in Fig.38 mm (Fig. phyllite was found to be most vulnerable. and the calculated maximum displacement was 2.23 mm slightly above the toe of slope. indicating that the slope was under high tension in that zone (Fig.3 mm (Fig. The displacement on one side of curve AB is very high relative to the other side (Fig.06 0. The slope was found to be stable at location L5: the shear strain as well as the displacement were very small (Figs.48 1. 11c). The observed maximum displacement is 1.39. 10e). At the second location (L2).22. The development of deformation was estimated at each node point. Rock mass will detach along the slope due to the concentration of plastic elements (Fig. Location L4 was found to have a stable slope. the slope is critically stable.94 L4 Haryali quartzite 1. 11a). respectively) gravitational loading. 9b). with FoS = 1. 10b). A slight reduction in strength would cause a huge landslide in the area. 9b) is well demarcated on the basis of the total displacement and shear strain. a weakened zone was identified based on shear strain and displacement vectors (Figs. 9a. Just above the toe of the slope.22 L3 Phyllite 1. The maximum displacement computed at this location was 5.89 elements. 11b). In the third location (L3). Agents such as rainfall.05 1.94.55 L2 Tilwara quartzite 1. 10c). 12). a stress-generated discontinuity. or an earthquake could cause such a reduction in strength. with FoS = 1.32 L5 Rudraprayag metavolcanics 2. 9e. 10d).Author's personal copy Stability evaluation of road-cut slopes Fig. 10a). Figure 9a–e show shear strain rates and probable failure surfaces (thick white lines) at locations L1–L5. 11 The development of Mohr–Coulomb plastic points and tension cutoff points within the rock mass (a–c refer to L2–L4. The weak zone was clearly demarcated according to the plastic elements (Fig. The FoS values 123 . The shear strain is maximum along curve AB (Fig. L1 was found to be stable.

Corkum B (2002) Hoek-Brown failure criterion—2002 edition. Accessed 6 Oct 2011 ISRM (1978) Suggested methods for determining tensile strength of rock materials.16 to 0.ersdac. as calculated using LEM and FEM calculated using FEM were found to be less than those obtained with LEM. Geotechnique 49(3):387–403 Gupte SS. Geotechnique 5(1):7–17 Chang YL. This analysis also indicated the development of tension cracks at the top of the slopes. which can lead Singh et al. 12 Comparison of the FoS values at L1. Higher slopes exhibited displacement near to the toe region of the slope. and tends to give more reliable results. and accurate analytical approach that does not employ any assumptions. Huang TK (2005) Slope stability analysis using strength reduction technique.22. as FEM is a more advanced numerical technique. It is based on the site condition and applicability of treatment. Trans Inst Min Metall Sect B Appl Earth Sci 107:B139–B147 DEM Data Source: http://www. and L5 has a completely stable slope. with alarming implications for their stability. The slopes (rock) were always under tension and compression. the slopes. while those at L1. Eyre JM (1998) Evaluation of techniques for quarry slope stability assessment. absorption and related properties and swelling and slake .5 m) with wire mesh may be sufficient to prevent instability. The maximum shear strain rate is concentrated near the toe of the slope. and L4 are critically stable to stable.or. In: Proceedings of North America Rock mechSoc. which represent a complex subject for study from geological and geotechnical perspectives.gdem.5 m 9 Accessed on 4 June 2011 Griffiths DV. Can Geotech J 25:735–748 Coggan JS. the rock masses were highly jointed. The zones of maximum shear strain were concentrated near the toes of 123 Ahmad M. Hence. References Conclusions In the present study. Singh TN (2013) Assessment of rockfall hazard along the road cut slopes of state highway-72. L2. and L5. The findings of the study regarding slope heights and patterns of displacement indicate the presence of zones of shear strain and displacement vectors. a methodology incorporating a tension cutoff is best suited for analyzing slope stability. as FEM is a more sophisticated. The slopes show displacement at or near the toe of the slope. The results obtained using both methods are similar. Lane PA (1999) Slope stability analysis by finite elements. unlike LEM. Carranza-Torres CT. Singh R. The analysis also indicated that tension cracks were generated at the tops of the slopes. Maharashtra.pdf. Ansari M.rocscience. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci 34(8):1165–1186 Hoek E. Shao C (1988) Evaluation of minimum factor of safety in slope stability analysis. http://www. J Chin Inst Eng 28(2):231–240 Chen Z. This approach yielded some important and applicable results on the cut-slope stability of Lesser Himalayan rocks. In the study area. Brown ET (1997) Practical estimates of rock mass strength. Singh TN (2013) In-pit waste dump stability analysis using two dimensional numerical models. Fig. The FoS values indicate that the slope at L3 is unstable. with the difference in FoS ranging from 0. L4.Author's personal copy R. advanced. Geomaterials 3(1):15–23 Bishop AW (1955) The use of the slip circle in the stability analysis of slopes. Int J Rock Mech Min Sci Geomech Abstr 15:99–103 ISRM (1979) Commission on standardization of laboratory and field tests. road-cut slopes along NH-109 (the Rudraprayag–Agastmuni section) were investigated for their stability using two-dimensional conventional LEM and numerical FEM techniques. so fully grouted rock bolting (5 m 9 2. Singh R. India. L2.aster. The fracture pattern of the rock mass needs to be accounted to avoid risk of rockfalls. Stead D. indicating a weak zone. Umrao RK. density. Min Eng J 14(7):16–20 Hoek E. porosity. The FoS values calculated using FEM were lower than those yielded by LEM. L3. suggested methods for determining water content.

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