Effects of nonlinear strength parameters on stability of 3D soil slopes

Yu Gao, Di Wu, Fei Zhang, Hongyu Qin, De Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Actual slope stability problems have three-dimensional (3D) characteristics and the soils of slopes have curved failure envelopes. This incorporates a power-law nonlinear failure criterion into the kinematic approach of limit analysis to conduct the evaluation of the stability of 3D slopes. A tangential technique is adopted to simplify the nonlinear failure criterion in the form of equivalent Mohr-Coulomb strength parameters. A class of 3D admissible rotational failure mechanisms is selected for soil slopes including three types of failure mechanisms: face failure, base failure, and toe failure. The upper-bound solutions and corresponding critical slip surfaces can be obtained by an efficient optimization method. The results indicate that the nonlinear parameters have significant influences on the assessment of slope stability, especially on the type of failure mechanism. The effects of nonlinear parameters appear to be pronounced for gentle slopes constrained to a narrow width. Compared with the solutions derived from plane-strain analysis, the 3D solutions are more sensitive to the values of nonlinear parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2354-2363
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Central South University
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016


  • critical slip surface
  • limit analysis
  • nonlinear failure criterion
  • stability
  • three-dimensional slope


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