• Hillslope instability induced by toe excavation: A comparative study of LEM-based deterministic and probabilistic approaches

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    • Keywords


      Toe excavation; limit equilibrium method; inherent spatial variability; probabilistic analysis; correlation length; probability of failure.

    • Abstract


      Toe cutting of hillslopes that are intended for the expansion of the transportation networks across the hilly regions need to follow an engineered basis to avert catastrophic failures. The commonly utilized deterministic Limit Equilibrium Method (LEM) does not incorporate the uncertainties in geotechnical propertiesand might exhibit inappropriate or erroneous consequences of toe excavation. In order to highlight the chances of toe-excavation induced slope failures, this paper reports the outcomes of the probabilistic stability analysis while considering one-dimensional spatial variability of soil shear strength parameters. The importance of such probabilistic analyses is established by finding that 79% of the toe-excavated slopes, which are judged safe from deterministic analysis, actually exhibit high probabilities of failure. Further, the influences of coefficient of variation (CoV) and the correlation between the shear strength parameters are also highlighted. The probability of failure of the cut slopes is found to be decreased by around 70% when the correlation coefficient of the shearstrength parameters decreased from +0.5 to -0.5. The permissible width of toe excavation is found to be governed by the indicators of spatial variability. It is revealed that for a CoV value of 0.2 and 0.3, a maximum horizontal extent of 7 m and 5 m can be excavated without leading to slope failure for a dimensionlesscorrelation length up to 0.2 and 0.1, respectively.

    • Author Affiliations



      1. Department of Civil Engineering, National Institute of Technology Meghalaya, Shillong, India
      2. Department of Civil Engineering and the Centre for Disaster Management and Research (CDMR), Indian Institute of Technology Guwahati, Guwahati, Assam, India
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