Insight for understanding the effect of groundwater flow on the potential for hillslope failure and liquefaction is provided by a novel limit‐equilibrium analysis of infinite slopes with steady, uniform Darcian seepage of arbitrary magnitude and direction. Normalization of the limit‐equilibrium solution shows that three dimensionless parameters govern completely the Coulomb failure potential of saturated, cohesionless, infinite homogeneous hillslopes: (1) the ratio of seepage force magnitude to gravitational body force magnitude; (2) the angle θ − Φ, where θ is the surface slope angle and Φ is the angle of internal friction of the soil; and (3) the angle λ + Φ, where λ is the angle of the seepage vector measured with respect to an outward‐directed surface‐normal vector. An additional dimensionless parameter affects the solution if soil cohesion is included in the analysis. Representation of the normalized solution as a single family of curves shows that minimum slope stability universally occurs when the seepage direction is given by λ = 90° − Φ. It also shows that for some upward seepage conditions, slope stability is limited by static liquefaction rather than by Coulomb failure. Close association between these liquefaction conditions and certain Coulomb failure conditions indicates that slope failure in such instances could be responsible for nearly spontaneous mobilization of destructive flowing soil masses on hillslopes.
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Title||Groundwater Seepage Vectors and the Potential for Hillslope Failure and Debris Flow Mobilization|
|Series title||Water Resources Research|
|Publisher||American Geophysical Union|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|