The approach adopted in this chapter is to

Although this book is concerned primarily with present a series of slope stability charts for circu-
the stability of rock slopes containing well- lar failure. These charts enable the user to carry
defined sets of discontinuities, it is also necessary out a rapid check on the factor of safety of a
to design cuts in weak materials such as highly slope, or upon the sensitivity of the factor of safety
weathered or closely fractured rock, and rock to changes in ground water conditions, slope
fills. In such materials, failure occurs along a sur- angle and material strength properties. These
face that approaches a circular shape (Figure 8.1), charts should only be used for the analysis of
and this chapter is devoted to a discussion on the circular failure in slope materials that are homo-
stability analysis of these materials. genous and where the conditions apply that were
In a review of the historical development of assumed in deriving the charts (see Section 8.4).
slope stability theories, Golder (1972) traced the More comprehensive methods of analysis are
subject back almost 300 years. Much of the presented in Section 8.6. These methods can be
development of circular failure analysis meth- used, for example, where the material properties
ods was carried out in the 1950s and 1960s, vary within the slope, or where part of the slide
and these techniques have since been used to surface is at a soil/rock interface and the shape of
prepare computer programs that have the ver- the slide surface differs significantly from a simple
satility to accommodate a wide range of geo- circular arc.
logic, geometric, ground water and external This chapter primarily addresses the stability
loading conditions. This chapter discusses the of slopes in two dimensions, and assumes that
principles of the theoretical work, and demon- the slope can be modeled as a unit slice through
strates their application in design charts and in an infinitely long slope, under plane-strain condi-
the results of computer analyses. During the tions. Section 8.6.5 discusses three-dimensional
past half century, a vast body of literature on circular failure analysis, and Section 10.3.1 dis-
the subject of circular failure has accumulated, cusses the influence of the radius of curvature of
and no attempt will be made to summarize the the slope on stability.
material in this chapter. Standard soil mechan-
ics text books such as those by Taylor (1937),
Terzaghi (1943) and Lambe and Whitman 8.2 Conditions for circular failure and
(1969), and papers by Skempton (1948), Bishop methods of analysis
(1955), Janbu (1954), Morgenstern and Price In the previous chapters, it has been assumed
(1965), Nonveiller (1965), Peck (1967), Spencer that the failure of rock slopes is controlled by
(1967, 1969) and Duncan (1996) all contain geological features such as bedding planes and
excellent discussions on the stability of soil slopes. joints that divide the rock into a discontinuous

177 Circular failure Circular failure

Figure 8.1 Circular
failure in highly
weathered, granitic rock
(on Highway 1, near
Devil’s Slide, Pacifica,

mass. Under these conditions, one or more of basalts, will also tend to fail in this manner. It is
the discontinuities normally defines the slide sur- appropriate to design slopes in these materials on
face. However, in the case of a closely fractured the assumption that a circular failure process will
or highly weathered rock, a strongly defined develop.
structural pattern no longer exists, and the slide
surface is free to find the line of least resistance
through the slope. Observations of slope failures 8.2.1 Shape of slide surface
in these materials suggest that this slide surface The actual shape of the “circular” slide surface
generally takes the form of a circle, and most is influenced by the geological conditions in the
stability theories are based upon this observa- slope. For example, in a homogenous weak or
tion. Figure 8.1 shows a typical circular failure weathered rock mass, or a rock fill, the failure
in a highly weathered rock slope above a high- is likely to form as a shallow, large radius sur-
way. The conditions under which circular failure face extending from a tension crack close behind
will occur arise when the individual particles in a the crest to the toe of the slope (Figure 8.2(a)).
soil or rock mass are very small compared with This contrasts with failures in high cohesion, low
the size of the slope. Hence, broken rock in a friction materials such as clays where the surface
fill will tend to behave as a “soil” and fail in may be deeper with a smaller radius that may exit
a circular mode when the slope dimensions are beyond the toe of the slope. Figure 8.2(b) shows
substantially greater than the dimensions of the an example of conditions in which the shape of
rock fragments. Similarly, soil consisting of sand, the slide surface is modified by the slope geology.
silt and smaller particle sizes will exhibit circular Here the circular surface in the upper, weathered
slide surfaces, even in slopes only a few meters rock is truncated by the shallow dipping, stronger
in height. Highly altered and weathered rocks, as rock near the base. Stability analyses of both
well as rock with closely spaced, randomly ori- types of surface can be carried out using circular
ented discontinuities such as some rapidly cooled failure methods, although for the latter case it is

This procedure involves compar- “critical surface. radius of the circle are varied until the surface The application of this procedure to circu- with the lowest factor of safety is found. .2 Stability analysis procedure of the surface to be defined.2 The shape of typical sliding surfaces: (a) large radius circular surface in homogeneous. surficial material with stronger rock at base. necessary to use a procedure that allows the shape 8. weak material.2. i (b) Non-circular sliding surface Figure 8. but may analysis. (b) non-circular surface in weak. The stability analysis of circular failure is carried For each combination of slope parameters there out using the limit equilibrium procedure similar will be a slide surface for which the factor of to that described in earlier chapters for plane and safety is a minimum—this is usually termed the wedge failures.” The procedure to find the ing the available shear strength along the sliding critical surface is to run a large number of ana- surface with the force required to maintain the lyses in which the center co-ordinates and the slope in equilibrium.(a) R Vertical slice Ei –1 i –1 hi –1 Wi b i hi Ei Ai (ci + i tan i )Ai S= FS Circular sliding i Ai surface Forces acting on slice. This lar failures involves division of the slope into a is an essential part of circular slope stability series of slices that are usually vertical. with the detail of forces on slice.

and this is refined with The analysis procedure is to consider equilib. the number sidered by Lambe and Whitman (1969). . up to this point. safety of the slope must lie. fied. and satisfy statics is given by the assumption that the the number of equilibrium conditions that are normal stress is concentrated at a single point used. In this case. is also a meaningful practical solution is provided cedures either make assumptions to make up by an examination of the analysis that assumed the balance between known and unknowns. height h above base) acting on the sides is to use an iterative process in which an initial of the slice (see detail Figure 8. and if a condition The influence of various normal stress distri- of equilibrium is satisfied for each slice.30. the Spencer Method assumes safety is independent of the normal stress distri- that the inclination of the side forces is the bution. Usually the extremes between which the actual factor of between 10 and 40 slices are required to realist. and 3N if is obtained by assuming that the normal load is both force and moment equilibrium are satis. which suggests that the actual inate and assumptions are required to make up factor of safety may lie reasonably close to the the imbalance between equations and unknowns lower bound solution. In an example con- ically model the slope. and the upper and lower bounds coincide. the upper bound if only force equilibrium is satisfied. then butions upon the factor of safety of soil slopes it is also satisfied for the entire sliding mass. In the simplest case. and therefore. that a lower bound for all factors of safety that able depends on the number of slices N . has been examined by Frohlich (1955) who found The number of equations of equilibrium avail. spiral (Spencer. Further evidence that the lower bound solution The various limit equilibrium analysis pro. 1996). the analyses are statically indeterm.2(a)). same for every slice. Analysis of the same problem by analyses that satisfy all conditions of equilib. cise.27. For example. rium conditions slice by slice. concentrated at the two ends of the slide surface. or the slide surface has the form of a logarithmic they do not satisfy all the conditions of equilib. the factor of rium. Thus. (Duncan. while the Fellenius and Taylor (1937) compared the results from a num- Bishop methods do not satisfy all conditions of ber of logarithmic spiral analyses with results of equilibrium. The number of equations available is 2N on the slide surface. If only force equilibrium is satisfied. Based on this comparison. of safety of 1.2) FS resistance S due to the shear strength of the rock (cohesion c. the c + σ tan φ forces acting on the base of each slice are the shear τe = (8. The base of each slice is inclined at angle ψb and has an area A. and forces E (dip The method of solution for the factor of safety angle ψ. lower bound solutions1 and found that the dif- The factor of safety of the circular failure based ference is negligible. is simply to determine the number of unknowns is (5N − 2). each iteration.1) Taylor (1937) for the derivation of his stability charts. Similarly. friction angle φ). the The unreal nature of these stress distributions number of unknowns is (3N − 1). and (2N − 2) for respectively. while. the upper of unknowns exceeds the number of equations. and lower bounds for the factor of safety of a The excess of unknowns over equations is (N − 1) particular slope corresponded to 1. on limit equilibrium analysis is defined as shear strength available to resist sliding (c + σ tan φ) FS = 1 The lower bound solution discussed in this chapter is usu- shear stress required for equilibrium on slip surface(τe ) ally known as the Friction Circle Method and was used by (8. Bishop’s simplified method of slices gives a factor rium. 1969).62 and 1. estimate is made for inclined to coincide with certain geological and rearranging this equation. if is of no consequence since the object of the exer- both force and moment equilibria are satisfied. for force equilibrium analysis. we have features.

flow lines will be approximately parallel to the . It has been found that these charts give a reliable The charts presented in this chapter corres- estimate for the factor of safety. In the case of slopes in soil or waste rock. safety of circular failures. and the slope height and face angle. within the rock mass. The φ = 0 analysis. it is assumed that most of (c) Failure occurs on a circular slide surface. (f) Ground water conditions vary from a dry lyses are discussed in Section 8.1 Ground water flow assumptions In order to calculate the forces due to water pres- (a) The material forming the slope is homogen. (g) Circular failure charts are optimized for a This section describes the use of a series of charts rock mass density of 18. by Skempton (1948) and by Bishop and Bjerrum (1960) the equipotentials are approximately perpendi- and is applicable to failures which occur during or after the cular to the phreatic surface. friction angle 18. These charts have been densities lower than this give low factors developed by running many thousands of circular of safety. hence. that are related by the equation τ = In the analysis of rock slope failures discussed c + σ tan φ (see Section 1. sures acting on the slide surface and in the tension eous. shows that the toe failure assumed of intact rock and. in Chapters 6. Use of the stability charts presented in this chapter requires that the conditions in the slope meet the following assumptions: 8. provided that the pond to the lower bound solution for the factor conditions in the slope meet the assumptions used of safety. 7 and 9. critical tension crack and of ground water. that φ > 5◦ . the rapid construction of a slope. Detailed circular analysis may analyses from which a number of dimensionless be required for slopes in which the mate- parameters were derived that relate the factor of rial density is significantly different from safety to the material unit weight. a general flow pattern for this analysis gives the lowest factor of safety provided will develop in the material behind the slope.9 kN/m3 . considered.2 rock and that the rock itself is practically imper- (d) A vertical tension crack occurs in the upper meable. Consequently. slope to a fully saturated slope under heavy recharge. In fact. involving failure below the toe of the slope through the base material has been discussed Figure 5. the permeability of the mass of material is gener- ally several orders of magnitude higher than that 2 Terzaghi (1943: 170). the accuracy in load is concentrated on a single point on the slide calculating the factor of safety from the charts is surface.10(a) shows that. it is necessary to assume a set of ground along the slide surface. These charts differ from those published usually greater than the accuracy in determining by Taylor in that they include the influence of a the shear strength of the rock mass. obtained by assuming that the normal in developing the charts. and cohesion. sible with conditions that are believed to exist in acterized by cohesion: c and a friction angle the field. surface or in the face of the slope.3 Derivation of circular failure charts Figure 8. Densities that can be used to determine rapidly the factor of higher than this give high factors of safety.9 kN/m3 . the water flow takes place in discontinuities in the which passes through the toe of the slope.3.Taylor concluded that the lower bound solution (e) The locations of the tension crack and of provides a value of the factor of safety that is the slide surface are such that the factor of sufficiently accurate for most practical problems safety of the slope is a minimum for the involving simple circular failure of homogeneous slope geometry and ground water conditions slopes. these conditions are defined in 8. water flow patterns that coincide as closely as pos- (b) The shear strength τ of the material is char.4. The basic principles of these methods of ana.4).6. with uniform shear strength properties crack. φ.

x (a) Tension crack Face Phreatic surface Assumed equipotentials H Assumed flow lines Sliding surface Face angle Figure 8. 8. behind the toe of the slope. These surface is assumed to coincide with the ground five ground water conditions are used in conjunc- surface at a distance x.4.3(a). or be the point where the phreatic surface is judged to intersect the ground surface. This Section 8. . 3 and 4. Figure 8. The circular failure charts presented in this for the range of the slope angles and values of x chapter were produced by running a search considered. ditions. For con- water pressure distribution in a slope under condi. may correspond to the position of a surface water source. by solution of the equations proposed routine to find the most critical combination of by L.3 shows that this approx. The distance x is measured in Assumed flow lines multiples of the slope height H . This work involved the out in the region surrounding the toe of the slope use of an electrical resistance analogue method where the curvature of the equipotentials results to study ground water flow patterns in slopes in local flow which differs from that illustrated in comprised of isotropic materials.4 shows five ground water conditions drawdown. Casagrande (1934). range of slope geometries and ground water con- urated slope subjected to heavy surface recharge.3 Definition of ground Surface recharge due to heavy rain water flow patterns used in (b) circular failure analysis of Tension crack slopes in weak and closely fractured rock: (a) ground water Sliding surface flow pattern under steady state drawdown conditions where the H phreatic surface coincides with Assumed equipotentials the ground surface at a distance x behind the toe of the slope. phreatic surface for the condition of steady-state Figure 8. the position of the ground tions of normal drawdown. Note that the phreatic water table is defined by the ratio x/H . or in the used in the stability analysis are based upon the face of the slope. (b) ground water flow pattern in a saturated slope subjected to surface recharge by heavy rain. Provision was made for the tension crack the equipotentials and the associated flow lines to be located in either the upper surface.2 Production of circular failure charts The phreatic surface itself has been obtained. Figure 8. and discussed in the slide surface and tension crack for each of a wide textbook by Taylor (1937). based imation has been used for the analysis of the on the models shown in Figure 8. measured in multiples of tion with the circular failure charts discussed in the slope height. Detailed checks were carried work of Han (1972).3. ditions 2. For the case of a sat.3. ranging from fully drained to saturated.

10) to correspond with the ground water con.4.4 Ground water flow models used with circular Saturated slope subjected to failure analysis heavy surface recharge charts—Figures 8.10. Step 4: Follow the radial line from the value found in step 3 to its intersection with Step 1: Decide upon the ground water con. Figure 8.6–8.3.4. Ground water flow conditions Chart number 1 Fully drained slope 2 Surface water 8x slope height behind toe of slope 3 Surface water 4x slope height behind toe of slope 4 Surface water 2x slope height behind toe of slope 5 Figure 8. The charts are numbered 1–5 (Figures 8.5 should be followed. shown in Figure 8. is closest to these conditions. the curve which corresponds to the slope ditions which are believed to exist in angle. the steps outlined here and the outer circular scale of the chart.6– the slope and choose the chart which 8. Step 3: Calculate the value of the dimensionless In order to use the charts to determine the factor ratio c/(γ H tan φ) and find this value on of safety of a slope. using ditions defined in Figure 8. Step 2: Select rock strength parameters appli- 8. .3 Use of the circular failure charts cable to the material forming the slope.

28 .80 50° .0 8 0 0 .12 . Find the factor of safety of 4 the slope. 4 3 ity γ = 15.14 .4 1. 0 .32.20 1.02 .10 .08 .09 .20 .0 .07 . is 0.Step 5: Find the corresponding value of tan φ/FS 2 1 or c/(γ H FS). assuming that there is a surface water source 61 m behind the toe of the slope.04 .2-m high cut with a face angle of 40◦ is FS to be excavated in overburden soil with a dens.11 1.4 1.13 .35 .0 0.03 .08 .15 c 1. depending upon which is more convenient. c Consider the following example: tan 3 H tan A 15. and calculate the factor of safety.06 . a cohesion of 38 kPa and a friction angle of 30◦ .5 Sequence of steps involved in using circular factor of safety of the slope of 1.30 FS 90° 1.18 .8 .60 0.45 0. The ground water conditions indicate the use c H FS of chart number 3 (61/15. .90 0.19 .10 .2 ∼ 4).12 .0 .25 tan .6 . Hence.24 .22 .8 .6 70° .70 60° .06 .32 .50 80° .16 .30 .01 .04 .0 40° 30° 1.5 20° 2.18 .34 c H FS Figure 8. the Figure 8.14 .17 H tan . failure charts to find the factor of safety of a slope.05 2.28 and the corresponding value of tan φ/FS.16 . for a 40◦ slope.02 .26 .40 Slope angle .2 10° 4.80.2 . The value of c/(γ H tan φ) = 0.7 kN/m .6 Circular failure chart number 1—fully drained slope.

0 8 0 0 .35 . During the production of the circular failure These charts are useful for the construction of charts presented in this chapter.02 .22 . the locations drawings of potential slides and for estimating of both the critical slide surface and the critical the friction angle when back-analyzing existing tension crack for limiting equilibrium (FS = 1) .20 .5 2.18 . the locations of the critical circle and pressure increased to that represented by chart the tension crack are not particularly sensitive to number 2. range of conditions.45 0.5).14 .14 .6 .34 c H FS Figure 8.15 c 1. It will be noted that the location of the critical 8.06 .12 . For example.11 .20 1. in the form of charts.70 60° .32 .09 .4 Location of critical slide surface circle center given in Figure 8.7 Circular failure chart number 2—ground water condition 2 (Figure 8.01 .18 . 0 . if the cohesion It was found that.0 .08 .6 70° .26 .30 .12.90 0.04 .25 tan .10 .12 differs signific- and tension crack antly from that for the drained slope plotted in Figure 8.4 40° 1. the position of the phreatic surface and hence only one case. These these charts.80 50° . they are ideal for checking the sens.17 H tan .24 . Because of the speed and simplicity of using were determined for each slope analyzed.28 .10 1.50 80° 60 0.02 . in itivity of the factor of safety of a slope to a wide Figures 8.13 . has been plot- ted.2 .07 .03 .11.19 1. the factor of safety drops to 1.4 . once ground water is present were to be halved to 20 kPa and the ground water in the slope.28.8 .08 .04 .0 0.16 .16 .8 .2 10° 4.11 and 8.06 .0 . that for chart number 3.0 30° 20° 1.12 .30 FS 90° 1. locations are presented.05 2.40 Slope angle .

From Figure 8.24 . chart number 2 the circular failure charts for the study of the corresponds most closely to these ground water stability of slope in highly weathered rock.45 80° .4).6 70° .5 2. The center is located at X = 0.18 .2 4. These cohesion.26 . Two piezometers in the slope and a known water source some distance behind the slope enabled an estimate to be made of the pos- 8.34 c H FS Figure 8. The slope pro- 20◦ .19 .0 8 0 0 .22 .70 60° .01 . dimensions are shown in Figure 8.14 .06 .32 . Figure 8.28 .04 .85H material.13.20 1. .02 .11 .09 .1H behind the crest of the slope.0 0.2H and Y = 1.1 Example 1—China clay pit slope locating the critical slide surface when carrying out more sophisticated circular failure analysis.10 .11 shows that the critical slide circle file is illustrated in Figure 8.8 .40 0. consider the case of a drained slope having potentially unstable.10 1.30 FS 1.05 2.6 . and that a circular failure a face angle of 30◦ in a soil with a friction angle of was the likely type of instability.06 .80 50° .25 tan 90° .16 .03 . circular slides.08 .4 30° 20° 1.14.14 .90 40° 1.4 1.30 .16 .5 Examples of circular failure analysis ition of the phreatic surface as shown in The following two examples illustrate the use of Figure 8.0 .14.8 Circular failure chart number 3—ground water condition 3 (Figure 8. conditions. was tested and that the critical tension crack is at a distance in direct shear to determine the friction angle and b = 0.2 .50 . Ley (1972) investigated the stability of a China As an example of the application of these clay pit slope which was considered to be charts.08 .07 .12 .60 0.0 .20 .35 Slope angle .8 .12 . a heavily kaolinized granite.0 0.18 .14 and the input data used for the analysis is included in this figure.02 .17 H tan . They also provide a start in 8.15 c 1.04 .5. 0 .13 .

0056.24 .35 Slope angle . would be a number 2. can then be calculated.26 .04 .08 . By reversing the pro- ity of the slope was inadequate under the assumed cedure outlined in Figure 8.40 0.01.11 .17 1.0 8 0 0 .14 . for a given friction angle.76.2 Example 2—highway slope analysis was carried out for dry slopes using chart A highway plan called for a cut at an angle of 42◦ .19 .9 Circular failure chart number 4—ground water condition 4 (Figure 8.14. Insufficient time was available for the slope is 1.5.22 .05 . A number of trial calculations ground water levels to be accurately established using Janbu’s method (Janbu et al.14.32 .60 0.2 2.04 . Figure 8.09 1.0 0 .2 .12 .6 . a range of friction conditions.16 .4 .25 90° tan FS .70 50° 40° .01 .16 H tan .50 70° .02 .20 .0 1.07 .18 . For the condition of limiting equilibrium. 1956) for the or for shear tests to be carried out.06 . 1 and tan φ/FS = tan φ. The value of the cohesion c which is mobilized at failure. From the information given in Figure 8. Figure 8.90 0. This 8. The slope was in weathered and altered the corresponding value of tan φ/FS from chart material.06 . if it occurred. the was required to check whether the cut would be value of the ratio c/(γ H tan φ) = 0.10 . and failure.80 . The stability critical slide circle shown in Figure 8. the factor of safety of circular type. is 0.6 60° .15). 2.02 .03.12 .10 ..03 .14 .4 1.30 .5 0.5.8 80° .0 .28 . . found analysis was carried out as follows: a factor of safety of 1.30 1. and for saturated The total height of the cut would be 61 m and it slopes using chart number 5 (line A.45 . c/(γ H tan φ) for a face angle of 42◦ . FS = These factors of safety indicated that the stabil.15 c .13 1. number 1 (line B.34 c H FS Figure 8.18 .8 .08 .4). Hence. and steps were taken to deal with the angles were used to find the values of the ratio problem.0 4.15).20 1. and stable.

chapter are based upon the assumption that the The effect of reducing the slope angle can be material forming the slope has uniform proper- checked very quickly by finding the value of the ties throughout the slope.08 .2 . Figure 8.21. Consequently.0 .80 .5 2.01 .14 1.6 . This figure shows that the available D.26 .13 . shear strength may not be adequate to maintain stability in this cut.65 0.70 40° .6 50° .07 .06 .14 .24 .10 1.10 . the dry slope is likely to be stable. or ground water conditions investigated of circular failures to establish actual ground water pressures and the The circular failure charts presented earlier in this feasibility of drainage.25 tan .04 . which is mobilized in a dry slope were considered probable for the material under with a face angle of 30◦ .12 .12 .0 0. 0 .0 8 0 0 .15 shows the range of friction angles and ratio c/(γ H tan φ) for a flatter slope of 30◦ .03 .30 .20 . and that failure occurs .02 .17 c .30 FS 1. the same way as it was found for the 42◦ slope.8 .15 . Since the mobilized shear consideration.18 .0 10° 0.16 .8 80° .50 70° 60° . in cohesions that would be mobilized at failure.32 .16 .6 Detailed stability analysis reduced.90 30° 1.2 4.18 .15 The dashed line (C) in Figure 8.10 Circular failure chart number 5—fully saturated slope.4 .28 . The shaded circle (D) included in Figure 8. the face angle could be 8.15 indicates the indicated the range of shear strengths that shear strength.34 c H FS Figure 8.4 20° 1.35 Slope angle .22 .40 0.05 2.08 . based upon the data presented in strength C is less than the available shear strength Figure 4.0 .02 . particularly when the cut is saturated.20 1.19 H tan 1.45 .09 .06 .04 .11 .

17 respect- fied.1 = 30° H = 40° Drained slope 0 60 70 80 90 0 10 20 30 40 50 Failure through Slope face angle (°) toe of slope Location of critical tension crack position Distance X H 2H 3H −3H −2H −H 0 4H 4H 20˚ Friction angle = 10° 10° 30° = Slope Distance Y = 20° 3H angle 3H 40° = 30° 50° = 40° 2H 60° 50° 2H 70° 80° H H 0 0 −3H −2H −H 0 H 2H 3H Location of center of critical circle for failure through toe Figure 8.2 Tension = 20° crack 0. but it is seriously in error . surface and that the side forces are horizontal. When these conditions are not satis.3 = 10° b Y 0. +X 0. and assumes the methods of stability analysis for circular failure. it is necessary to use one of the methods of ively.1 Bishop’s and Janbu’s method of slices method gives reasonable factors of safety when applied to shallow slide surfaces (which are typ- The slope and slide surface geometries.16 and 8. This section moment equilibrium. and the ical in rock with an angle of friction in excess equations for the determination of the factor of safety by the Bishop’s simplified method of slices of 30◦ and rockfill). Janbu’s 8. Janbu (1954). Morgenstern the analysis satisfies vertical forces and overall and Price (1965) or Sarma (1979). along a circular slide path passing through the toe (1955) and the Janbu’s modified method of slices of the slope. (1954) are given in Figures 8. As pointed out by Nonveiller (1965). The Janbu method allows describes in detail the simplified Bishop and Janbu a slide surface of any shape. Bishop’s method assumes a circular slide slices published by Bishop (1955). Nonveiller (1965). the analysis satisfies vertical force equilibrium.11 Location of critical sliding surface and critical tension crack for drained slopes.4 Location of center of critical circle Ratio b/H 0.6. side forces are horizontal and equal on all slices. Spencer (1967).

12 Location of critical sliding surface and critical tension crack for slopes with ground water present.1 H H Y = 1.2 b = 0.1 H = 40° = 50° = 60° Tension crack 0 0 10 20 30 40 50 Slope with ground water 60 70 80 90 (chart number 3) Failure through Angle of slope face (°) toe of slope Location of critical tension crack position Distance X H 2H 3H −3H −2H −H 0 4H 10° = 3H 20° 20° Friction angle Distance Y = =10 30° ° 30° 2H Slope angle 70° 60° 50° 40° 80° H = == 60° 0 50° H 2H 3H 40° −3H −2H −H 0 Location of center of critical circle for failure through toe Figure 8. X = 0.13 Location of critical slide surface and ◦ critical tension crack for a drained slope at an angle of 30 in a material with a friction angle of 20 .2 Y Ground water = 30° surface 0. +X 0. .3 b = 20° 0.4 = 10° Location of center of Ratio b/H critical circle 0.85 H Figure◦ 8.

• the weight of each slice W is given by the The procedures for using Bishop’s and Janbu’s product of the vertical height h. the 150 slide surface assumed for the first analysis may not give the lowest factor of safety. materials with low friction angles. The sliding mass assumed in step 1 is divided into a number of 0 slices. In the Janbu analysis.12 can be B—Dry 42° slope C— used to estimate the center of the circle with the 250 Dry 30° slope D—Probable shear strength range for lowest factor of safety. of the slice x : W = (h γr x). and • uplift water pressure U on the base of each Step 1: Slope and slide surface geometry. features or weak zones within the rock or soil A mass. the unit methods of slices are very similar and it is con. For complex slope pro- Friction angle (°) files.5 kN/m3 Friction angle = 37° Cohesion c = 6.8 m level Critical failure Figure 8. the unit weight γw of the designed profile as seen in a vertical section water and the width of the slice x. . 50 Step 2: Slice parameters. Generally.14 Slope profile of circle for Janbu China clay pit slope analysis considered in Example 1. Input data for analysis: Unit weight = 21. The parameters which have to be defined for each slice are as given here: and should not be used for deep slide surfaces in • base angle ψb . The slice is given by the product of the height hw geometry of the slope is defined by the actual or to the phreatic surface. a larger number of slices may be Figure 8.9 kPa Measured water 31° 76. weight γr of the rock or soil and the width venient to discuss them together. through the slope. that is. and a series of B analyses are required with variations on this pos- 100 D ition to find the surface with the lowest factor of C safety. U = (hw γw x). lem. a minimum of five slices should 0 10 20 30 40 50 be used for simple cases. or it may be estimated in the same way as Cohesion c (kPa) that for the Bishop analysis.21). A—Saturated 42° slope the charts given in Figures 8. In the case of a circular failure.11 and 8. or where there are different materials in the rock or soil mass.15 Comparison between shear strength required in order to define adequately the prob- mobilized and shear strength available for slope considered in Example 2. In either case. the material in which slope is cut slide surface may be defined by known structural 200 (see Figure 4.

X Center of rotation (see Figure 8.00 for the factor of safety is . (see Figure 4. When the shear each slice acting parallel to the slide surface. An strengths of the materials forming the slope are initial estimate of FS = 1.8) which failure is defined by the 1 + Y/FS Mohr–Coulomb failure (2) cos b (1 + Y/FS) > (8.4). In the case of a uni. When the slope is cut in a defined. the values of X. Y and Z are calculated number of materials. The shear defined by non-linear failure criterion as dis- strength acting on the base of each slice is required cussed in Section 4.2 criterion.3) FS = ∑Z + Q where X = [c + ( rh – whw) tan ] (∆x /cos (8.1) in Section 1. the shear strength Step 4: Factor of safety iteration.9) 0. Step 3: Shear strength parameters.7) Slice weight 2 Q =½ wz ( /R = r h∆x ) Note: angle b is negative when sliding uphill Figure 8. ine the cohesion and friction angle for each form material in which the failure criterion is slice at the effective normal stress for that slice assumed to be that of Mohr–Coulomb (equa.12) Tension crack Ground water surface R Y Z H ½ 2 z/3 wz Typical slice Failure through toe Water force = whw(∆x /cos b) of slope ∆x Factor of safety: ∑ x /(1 + Y / FS) (8. tion (1. for each slice. it is necessary to determ- for the stability calculation. the shear strength para.6) hw Z = rh ∆x sin b (8.23). The water force Q is added to meters for each slice must be chosen according Z.5) h Y = tan b tan (8.4) b) (8.5. the sum of the components of the weight of to the material in which it lies. When the parameters c and φ will be the same on the slice and shear strength parameters have been base of each slice.16 Bishop’s simplified method of slices for the b The following conditions must be satisfied for each slice: analysis of non-circular failure rh – whw – c (tan b /FS) in slopes cut into materials in (1) = (8.

8) can sometimes occur near the toe of a slope in and (8.10) given in Figures 8. approximately seven iteration adopted. respectively.14) h Z = rh ∆x tan Figure 8.4(d /L)2) criterion. for c = 0. Figure the analysis is not invalidated by conditions which 8. to be described later.31 c > 0.001. and a new factor of safety is calculated from of each slice is always positive. if this .16 was suggested by most slope and slide surface geometries. K = 0. should be the Janbu methods. If the difference between of a tension crack into the analysis should be the calculated and the assumed factors of safety is considered.001. the analysis as presented in Figure 8.16 lists two conditions (equations (8.11) X = [c + ( rh – whw) tan ] (1 + tan2 b) (8. This process is repeated crack.50 used.16 until the difference between successive factors of should be abandoned and a more elaborate form safety is less than 0.17 Janbu’s hw Slice weight 2 modified method of = r h∆x bQ =½ wz slices for the analysis of non-circular failure in Note: angle b is negative when sliding uphill slopes cut into (8. the inclusion and 8. If this con- equations (8. The first condition ensures this condition is not satisfied by all slices.17.15) materials in which b Approximate correction factor f 0 failure is defined by the Mohr–Coulomb failure f0 = 1 + K(d /L – 1.16 dition is not met for any slice.3) and (8. the that the effective normal stress on the base slice dimensions should be changed and. For both the Bishop and of analysis. K = 0.9)) that must be satisfied for each slice in which a deep slide surface has been assumed.10) FS = ∑Z + Q where (8. Whitman and Bailey (1967) and it ensures that Step 5: Conditions and corrections. If it is impossible to satisfy this greater than 0. > 0. the calculated factor of safety condition by readjustment of the ground water is used as a second estimate of FS for a new factor conditions or the introduction of a tension of safety calculation. cycles will be required to achieve this result for Condition 2 in Figure 8.13) Y = tan b tan (8.12) ∆x (8. Tension crack Ground water surface Typical slice z 2 z/3 ½ wz H Failure through toe of slope L d Water force = w hw(∆x /cos b) ∆x Factor of safety: f0∑ X /(1 + Y/ FS) (8. If the Bishop analysis.

15-m in Bishop stability analysis high benches with two 8-m wide berms. Repeat . based on the Hoek–Brown strength criterion. dis- 5 On the basis of these new values of σ . A slope is to be excavated in blocky sandstone with very closely spaced and persistent discon- 8. about ten iterations will be required means of the Janbu method. the When the material in which the slope is cut obeys primary function of which are to collect surface the Hoek–Brown non-linear failure criterion dis.18). The an angle of 45◦ . runoff and control erosion (Figure 8.5. γw = 0. γr = 0. It is required meters have been defined as described earlier for to find the factor of safety of the overall slope. The cussed in Section 4. • Unit weight of rock mass. surface).16 are sat. calculate tan φ gram ROCLAB 1. ROCLAB calculates. using the second factor of safety as input.18 can the slope above the crest of the cut will be at be used to calculate the factor of safety. calcu. GSI = 20. the slide surface assumed in the Janbu analysis. the appropriate vertical stress level. which is used in calculating the factor of safety by Generally. angle for this criterion are calculated using the pro- 2 Using these values of σ .001.5. the Bishop and Janbu analyses: assuming that a circular type stability analysis is appropriate for these conditions. of σ on the base of each slice.001. factor of safety equation in order to obtain the • Uniaxial compressive strength of intact rock first estimate of the factor of safety. the Bishop’s simplified bench faces will be at 75◦ to the horizontal.145 MPa.3 Example of Bishop’s and Janbu’s derived by Hoek and Bray (1981) from the curves methods of analysis published in Janbu (1954).fails to resolve the problem. Figure 8. 7 Calculate a new factor of safety for the new Using these parameters. 3 Substitute these values of tan φ and c into the • Very poor quality rock mass. once the slice para.25). mi = 15. the analysis should this procedure until the difference between be abandoned. return angle of 43◦ and a cohesion of 0. which defines the strength the Fellenius equation (equation (8. and method of slices as outlined in Figure 8. The equation for f0 given in Figure 8. equation (equation (8.9) on Figure 8.24) which the input parameters are as follows: and (4. • Average slice height = 24 m (this height 6 Check that conditions defined by equa.7. at values of tan φ and c.18).8) and (8. This factor allows to achieve the required accuracy in the calculated for inter-slice forces resulting from the shape of factor of safety.18) on Figure 8. The cohesion and friction Figure 8. for and c for each slice from equations (4. The assumed position of the following procedure is used. 2002a). The slope will consist of three. successive factors of safety is less than 0.17 has been 8. 4 Use this estimate of FS to calculate a new value • Rock material constant. as ing on the base of each slice by means of discussed in Section 4. together with the rock mass unit weight tions (8. a best fit line 8 If the difference between the first and second to the curved strength envelope to define a friction factors of safety is greater than 0.19). using the Bishop • Unit weight of water.17 gives a correction factor f0 . defines the average vertical stress on the sliding isfied for each slice. turbance factor D = 0. • For careful blasting used in excavation. (from point load testing) ≈ 150 MPa.17) on as a curved envelope. and late new values for tan φ and c.2 Use of non-linear failure criterion tinuities.6.00981 MN/m 3 .025 MN/m 3. This is to step 4 and repeat the analysis. water table is shown on the figure. The shear strength of the jointed rock mass is 1 Calculate the effective normal stress σ act.6.004 (RocScience.

divided into eight slices. The slope is slice. X Center of rotation b Tension crack Ground water surface R Y z/3 z H ½ 2 wz Typical slice Note: angle b is negative when sliding uphill Failure through toe of slope ∆x Factor of safety: ∑(c i + tan i ) (∆x /cos b) (8.2 Figure 8. In Table 8.18 Bishop’s simplified method of slices for the analysis of circular failure in slope in material in which strength is defined by non-linear criterion given in Section 4.25) ci [(1 + 2a)s + ( 1– a)m b 3n] ( + m b 3n) c = (1 + a)(2 + a) – 1+ [6amb (s + m bs a –1 3n) ][(1 + a)(2 + a)] where = 3n = 3 max / ci The conditions which must be satisfied for each slice are: (1) > 0.24) 6am b (s + m b 3n) 1 b 2(1 + a)(2 + a) + 6–1am (s + m )a b b 3n a –1 (4. and for each slice the base . the program calculates the instantan.17) b – w hw and h = rh – whw – (c i tan b/FS) (8.18) hw (Bishop solution) rh 1+ (tan tan /FS) i b = sin–1 a– (4. the equivalent Mohr–Coulomb shear strength. Bishop and Janbu stability analyses assuming a eous friction angle and cohesion corresponding linear shear strength. where is calculated by Bishop’s method (2) cos b [1 + (tan b tan i )/FS] > 0.16) FS = 2 ∑ r h ∆x sin b+½ wz /R where = rh cos2 (Fellenius solution) (8.5. and for the Janbu analysis to the effective normal stress on the base of each assuming a non-linear shear strength.1 shows the input parameters for the addition.