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Failure of slopes

Burridge, Paul Brian (1987) Failure of slopes. California Institute of Technology . (Unpublished) http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechEERL:1987.SML-87-01

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Abstract

The dynamic mechanism of slope failure is studied both experimentally and analytically to establish the spatial and temporal process of failure initiation and propagation during collapse of a natural or man-made slope. Model slopes, constructed of a brittle cemented sand material, are tested to collapse in a geotechnical centrifuge and the dynamics of failure recorded by motion picture film and mechanical detectors within the slope specimen. Shear failure is observed to initiate at the toe and propagate rapidly to the crest in the presence of crest tension cracking. A finite difference approach is taken to numerically solve the plane strain slope stability problem under gravity, based on unstable material behavior. Using a Lagrangian differencing scheme in space and explicit integration in time with dynamic relaxation, the numerical method finds the equilibrium state of the slope as the large-time limit of a dynamic problem with artificial parameters. The solution predicts localized shear failure zones which initiate at the slope toe and propagate to the slope crest in the manner and geometry observed in the centrifuge tests. In so doing, the finite difference algorithm also demonstrates an apparent ability to predict shear failure mechanisms in solid continua in general.


Item Type:Report or Paper (Technical Report)
Additional Information:PhD, 1987: PB 89 194401/AS
Group:Soil Mechanics Laboratory
Record Number:CaltechEERL:1987.SML-87-01
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechEERL:1987.SML-87-01
Usage Policy:You are granted permission for individual, educational, research and non-commercial reproduction, distribution, display and performance of this work in any format.
ID Code:26469
Collection:CaltechEERL
Deposited By: Imported from CaltechEERL
Deposited On:24 May 2002
Last Modified:26 Dec 2012 13:58

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