Unsaturated soil mechanics for slope stability
Leong, Eng Choon
Date of Issue2007
KGS Fall National Conference (2007)
School of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Excessive rainfalls due to climatic changes can trigger an increase in rainfall-induced slope failures that pose real threats to both lives and properties. Many high slopes in residual soils could stand at a steep angle, but failed during or after rainfall. Commonly, these slopes have a deep groundwater table and negative pore-water pressures in the unsaturated zone above the groundwater table contribute to the shear strength of soil and consequently to factor of safety of the slope. Stability assessment of slope under rainfall requires information on rate of rainwater infiltration in the unsaturated zone and the resulting changes in pore-water pressure and shear strength of soil. This paper describes the application of unsaturated soil mechanics principles and theories in the assessment of rainfall effect on stability of slope through proper characterization of soil properties, measurement of negative pore-water pressures, seepage and slope stability analyses involving unsaturated and saturated soils. Factors controlling the rate of changes in factor of safety during rainfall and a preventive method to minimize infiltration are highlighted in this paper.
© 2007 KGS Fall National Conference