Experimental test of theory for the stability of partially saturated vertical cut slopes

Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
By: , and 

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Abstract

This paper extends Culmann's vertical-cut analysis to unsaturated soils. To test the extended theory, unsaturated sand was compacted to a uniform porosity and moisture content in a laboratory apparatus. A sliding door that extended the height of the free face of the slope was lowered until the vertical cut failed. Digital images of the slope cross section and upper surface were acquired concurrently. A recently developed particle image velocimetry (PIV) tool was used to quantify soil displacement. The PIV analysis showed strain localization at varying distances from the sliding door prior to failure. The areas of localized strain were coincident with the location of the slope crest after failure. Shear-strength and soil-water-characteristic parameters of the sand were independently tested for use in extended analyses of the vertical-cut stability and of the failure plane angle. Experimental failure heights were within 22.3% of the heights predicted using the extended theory.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Experimental test of theory for the stability of partially saturated vertical cut slopes
Series title Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
DOI 10.1061/(ASCE)GT.1943-5606.0001119
Volume 140
Issue 9
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher American Society of Civil Engineers
Publisher location New York, NY
Contributing office(s) Geologic Hazards Science Center
Online Only (Y/N) N
Additional Online Files (Y/N) N
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