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PAPER CODE: T-401

“Advanced Structures, Materials and Methodology in Civil Engineering”(ASMMCE 2018) (November 03-04, 2018)

SLOPE STABILITY OF ROAD EMBANKMENT

Vaibhav Garga, S.N. Sachdevab

a

M.Tech student, Department of Civil Engineering, National Institute of Technology Kurukshetra, Haryana-136119, India,

Email:vaibhavgarg2801@gmail.com

bProfessor, Department of Civil Engineering, National Institute of Technology, Kurukshetra, Haryana-136119, India,

Email:snsachdeva@nitkkr.ac.in

ABSTRACT

Construction of highways often involves raising the level of existing ground to build a stable road subgrade. The

embankment for the road is needed due to topographical requirements of the area as well as to make the road safe

against any possible flooding and damage to pavement structure due to seepage from standing water by the side of the

road. The embankments are constructed with different heights and side slopes. For the purpose of road transportation,

an embankment of height 6.0 m and above is termed as high embankment. Guidelines for the design of high

embankments are covered in IRC:75-2015 which recommends Swedish Circle and Bishop’s method among various

available methods for the analysis of slope stability of road embankments. This paper presents an overview of the

stability of different slopes provided for various heights of embankments with design aspects related to slope stability

of typical highway embankments.

KEYWORDS: Embankment, Topographical, Bishop’s Method, Swedish Circle, Slope Stability.

INTRODUCTION

Slope is the one which is inclined and unsupported mass. Wherever there is a difference in the elevation of the earth's

surface, either due to man's actions or natural processes, there are forces which act to restore the earth to a levelled

surface. The process in general is referred to as mass movement. Slope stability analysis is one of the most popular

classical problem in the field of civil, hydraulic and mining engineering. Slope stability analysis provides the safe

design of earth slopes under the influence of gravity force. It accesses the possibilities of earth slope failures either

natural or human made slopes. These failures can often catastrophic and sometimes it involves the extensive loss in

economic as well as a social and environment. The identification of most sliding surface also named as critical slip

surface associated with least factor of safety value is traditionally performed to estimate the circular failures of the

slope. In this regard, the forces tending to make slope failure, restored forces that stabilize the potential mass are the

essential steps to calculate. Numerous methods have been used to calculate slope stability, such as finite element

method, limit equilibrium method, limit analysis method, rigid element method, probabilistic analysis approach and

distinct element methods. Out of these methods, limit equilibrium methods have proven to be widely used and

successful method for the assessment of slope stability. Limit equilibrium methods consider the forces and moments

related to an assumed slip surface passed through a soil mass. In regards to this, some methods such as; Fellenius (or

Swedish Slip Circle), Bishop, Janbu, Morgenstem and Price, Spencer, methods and others compute factor of safety

of sliding mass on the basis of some assumption criteria. These methods consider the whole potential mass to divide

into a series of vertical slices, so that the available resisting moment along the sliding surface and deriving moment

is easily determined. The identification of failure surface with lowest factor of safety is traditionally performed using

numerous different methods.

Stability of high embankment depends on various factors like foundation profile, fill material quality, extent of

compaction, drainage arrangement both surface and sub-surface, and embankment geometry like height of

embankment, slope angle, ground profile etc., external factors like traffic or earthquake load or presence of any water

body by the side of the embankment or development of pore water pressure due to infiltration from heavy rain. All

these parameters and conditions will make significant impact on overall stability of the embankment.

The factor of safely in the category of slope stability studies is ordinarily outlined as the ratio of the final shear strength

divided by the maximum armed shear stress at initiation of failure. There are always deriving forces: weight of the

rotating soil, surface loads and earthquake loads, and resisting forces: internal friction force and the cohesion of the

soil at the failure surface and/or nailing resistance.

LITERATURE REVIEW

A Ghosh, et al. carried out work on, Slope instability problems at Agrakhal on Rishikesh-Uttarkashi-Gangotri

National Highway of Uttarakhand State has induced distress in many houses situated on the slope. From the field

investigation it is inferred water flow in a drain and water seepage at various locations are the main contributing

factors for the instability. The slope stability analysis consists determining the soil mechanical properties, the shape

and the position of the possible failure surface. Since Fellenius and Bishop, several authors have proposed

calculation methods for slope stability based on the limit equilibrium. This procedure coupled with the advanced

optimization techniques is adequate for regular slope stability problems. The development of finite elements

methods led to an effective approach for assessing the safety factor of soil slopes within its strength reduction.

Nima Farshidfar et al. this research uses the shear strength reduction method to study soil slopes stability. In this

method shear strength is considered to be reduced as less as failure occurs. It uses Plaxis, which is capable of

calculating deformations rates and safety factors by gaining geometry data of a problem and soil specifications and

using the finite element method (FEM). The analysis is performed at both static and pseudo-static modes. The

effects of different parameters on slopes stability are shown by performing several analyses. Finally, the analyses

performed by this method are compared with the ones obtained by finite difference method (FDM).

Ali Fawaz et al. this paper aims to analyses slope stability based on the numerical simulation using Plaxis software.

The mechanical parameters of soil layers constituting the slope are evaluated from laboratory results and numerical

simulations of in-situ pressure meter tests. The study of the slope consists to determine the failure surface and the

corresponding safety factor. This coefficient is calculated taking into consideration the influence of factors that

contribute slope instability and following the use of several methods of reinforcement to strengthen the slope.

Pallivi Gupta et al. conducted an experimental study has been carried out to observe the effect of density and

moisture on property of cohesive (expansive) soil. At a constant grading of a soil its effect on strength, swelling

pressure, permeability and CBR value has been undertaken, as soils are to be used for making road pavement,

embankments, dams etc. The slope stability analysis of cohesive soil has been done by SLOPE/W software and is

used in under different conditions to evaluate slope stability.

TYPES OF FAILURE

Generally speaking, failures occur in rotational mode in soil slopes. Failure surface forms an arc of a circle, isolating

the failed mass from the rest of the embankment. If the failure arc cuts the slope it is called as slope failure, if it meets

the toe it is called toe failure. If the failure circle goes into the subsoil it is called as base failure. Presence of weaker

layer may cause a failure surface to take a composite shape.

Generally, base failures do not occur if the foundation soil is firm and has an angle of internal friction greater than

300. i.e. if the soil is sandy or gravelly.

The failure surface is usually tangential to the weak zone.

There are some basic factors which influence analysis of slope stability problem. Principal among these are the

choice of method of analysis (i.e. effective stress or total stress method), stage of construction for which the analysis is

carried out (i.e. short term or long term condition) and the proposed factor of safety.

Fig.1 Rotational Failure along a Circular Curve

Total stress method is applicable where an embankment is constructed on saturated clays of low permeability and no

change in water content occurs in the subsoil prior to failure. Shear strength in this case may be given as follows:

τ = cu + tanϕu ……Eq.1

Where cu and ϕu are called undrained shear parameters.

Effective stress method of analysis takes into account the pore water pressures for the stage at which stability is to be

analyzed. The relationship between shear strength and applied normal stress used in such analysis is given by the

expression:

c'+(n-u)tan' ……Eq. 2

Where c’ and ø’ are called as effective stress parameters.

Factor of Safety

The results of the stability analysis are normally expressed in terms of a factor of safety with respect to shear strength.

The factor of safety is defined as the factor by which the shear strength parameters (in terms of effective stress) c’ and

tanø’ can be reduced before the slope is brought into the state of limiting equilibrium. The shear strength mobilized

under these conditions is given by the expression

……Eq.3

Where σn denotes the total stress normal to the potential failure surface and u denotes the pore water pressure.

The Eq.3 has the advantage of being applicable to circular and non circular slip surface alike without modifications

and operates directly on the relevant strength parameters (Bishop & Morgenstern, 1960).

Table1. Recommended Minimum Factors of safety (FOS) For Stability Analysis

Condition loads seismic loads

(at the end of

construction)

1.2

(*initial factor of

safety)

Sudden 1.3 1.0

Drawdown

Seepage

*Initial factor of safety 1.2 is applicable to situations where there is a gain in shear strength of subsoils

due to ground improvement methods leading to increase in factor of safety with time. In such cases it is

important that construction is continuously monitored for changes in pore water pressures, progress of

settlements and occurrence of lateral deformations.

Slip circle analysis is a method of checking the stability of any slope against its probability to fail in rotational mode;

sometimes failure surface may not be circular. The factor of safety for a particular circle passing through the slope is

calculated by taking into account force equilibrium and/or moment equilibrium. While some methods of analysis

consider force equilibrium and moment equilibrium, some methods consider only force equilibrium (Abramson Lee.

W. et. al.) “Slope stability and stabilization methods” (John Wiley”) the location (center and radius) of the most critical

circle. The critical circle is the one with lowest FOS which has the highest probability to fail in case the disturbing

force is greater than or equal to the resisting force. Hence, the objective of the analysis is to find the most critical circle

by an iterative method.

There are many types of software available for use. The modes in which the input parameters are provided in these

softwares differ from each other. Similarly, the output format also differs from one program to another. The user should

be familiar with both these aspects.

In software, by defining the phreatic line, the unit weight above and below the phreatic lines are automatically

considered by the software. The same condition can be modeled by defining two separate densities for soils above and

below the phreatic line.

There are various ways and means by which the critical circle can be found and different software has different options

and tools to find the circle which has the lowest FOS. The most common iterative method is to define a grid of centers

and a defined point for the circle to pass. The user must check all possible circles by changing the location of grid and

point of passing to find the critical circle.

The software automatically calculates the FOS for all possible circles passing through this point and varying the

location of the centers within the defined boundary of the grid. There are few advanced softwares available which also

automatically search the critical circle by increasing and decreasing the radius of the circle However, these features

are provided just to help for a quick search. It is up to the user to ensure that all possibilities are checked by an iterative

method before concluding for the most critical circle.

The critical circle may or may not pass through the toe of embankment; it depends on the properties of the foundation

soil parameters. The weaker the foundation soil, higher is the probability of deep seated failure

The basic method to ensure that the critical circle has been derived is by drawing a contour map of all FOS The center

of the critical circle shall lie within the defined grid of centers and not on the edge of the grid.

Limit equilibrium methods are still currently most used for slopes stability studies. These methods consist in

cutting the slope into fine slices so that their base can be comparable with a straight line then to write the

equilibrium equations (equilibrium of the forces and/or moments) [8]. According to the assumptions made on

the efforts between the slices and the equilibrium equations considered, many alternatives were proposed. They

give in most cases rather close results.

2. Log-Spiral procedure

3. The friction Circle Procedure

4. Methods of Slices

o Ordinary method of slices

o Simplified Bishop Method

o Janbu’s Generalized Procedure of Slices (GPS)

o Spencer’s Method

o Morgenstern and Price’s

SOFTWARE GEO5:

GEO5 software suite is designed to solve various geotechnical problems. The easy to use suite

consists of individual programs with a unified and user-friendly interface. Each program is used to analyze a

different geotechnical task but all modules communicate with each other to form an integrated suite.

Geotechnical software with analytical and finite element analysis solutions consist of programs designed to

solve large number of problems commonly encountered. It includes integrated modules such as stability of

slopes, reinforced slopes, nailed slopes, rock stability, spread footing, plates, beams, piles, cantilever wall,

abutment, gravity wall, gabions, earth pressure, sheeting design, sheeting check, settlement, etc. A wide range

of geotechnical problems such as beams on elastic foundations, excavation, etc. can be modelled which can

be used to study the real behavior of the material in the structure. There are many software packages available

in the market. Some that uses the Swedish method of slices and others that use more sophisticated methods.

The program analyses the stability of generally layered soil slopes. It is used mainly for stability checks of

embankments, earth cuts and anchored sheeting structures. The slip surface is considered as circular (the

Bishop, Fellenius/Petterson, Janbu, Morgenstern-Price or the Spencer method) or polygonal (the Sarma,

Janbu, Morgenstern-Price or Spencer method).

REFRENCES:

1. A. Ghosh, S. Sarkar, D.P.Kanungo, S.K.Jain (2009), “Slope Instability and Risk Assessment

of an Unstable Slope at Agrakhal,Uttarakhand”, Indian Geotechnical ConferenceA. Totsev,

J. Jellev (2009), “Slope stability analysis using conventional methods and FEM”,

Proceedings of the 17th International Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical

Engineering, IOS Press.

2. Ali Fawaz Elias Farah2, Fadi Hagechehade (2014), “Slope stability analysis using numerical

modelling”, American Journal of Civil Engineering, 2014; 2(3): 60-67

(2010), “Geo5 User’s Guide”. www.finesoftwre.eu

4. Nima Farshidfar, Arash Nayeri (2015), “Slope Stability Analysis by Shear Strength

Reduction Method”, Journal of Civil Engineering and Urbanism.

5. Gupta, P., Raghuwanshi, A. K., and Bhargava, S. (2016). “EFFECT OF DENSITY AND MOISTURE ON

THE SLOPE STABILITY OF HIGHWAY EMBANKMENT.” INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF ENGINEERING

SCIENCES & RESEARCH TECHNOLOGY.

ASMMCE’18 Garg Vaibhav 7

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