Assessment of slope stability in cohesive soils due to a rainfall


The primary focus in this work is on proposing a methodology for the assessment of stability of natural/engineered slopes in clayey soils subjected to water infiltration. In natural deposits of fine‐grained soils, the presence of water in the vicinity of minerals results in an interparticle bonding. This effect cannot be easily quantified as it involves complex chemical interactions at the micromechanical level. Here, the evolution of strength properties, including the apparent cohesion resulting from initial suction at the irreducible fluid saturation, is described by employing the framework of chemoplasticity. The paper provides first the formulation of the problem; this involves specification of the constitutive relation, development of an implicit return mapping scheme, and the outline of a coupled transient formulation. The framework is then applied to examine the stability of a slope subjected to a prolonged period of intensive rainfall. It is shown that the water infiltration may trigger the loss of stability resulting from the degradation of material properties.

International Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics