Limit analysis of 3D rock slope stability with non-linear failure criterion

Yufeng Gao, Di Wu, Fei Zhang, G. H. Lei, Hongyu Qin, Yue Qiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


The non-linear Hoek–Brown failure criterion has been widely accepted and applied to evaluate the stability of rock slopes under plane-strain conditions. This paper presents a kinematic approach of limit analysis to assessing the static and seismic stability of three-dimensional (3D) rock slopes using the generalized Hoek–Brown failure criterion. A tangential technique is employed to obtain the equivalent Mohr–Coulomb strength parameters of rock material from the generalized Hoek–Brown criterion. The least upper bounds to the stability number are obtained in an optimization procedure and presented in the form of graphs and tables for a wide range of parameters. The calculated results demonstrate the influences of 3D geometrical constraint, non-linear strength parameters and seismic acceleration on the stability number and equivalent strength parameters. The presented upper-bound solutions can be used for preliminary assessment on the 3D rock slope stability in design and assessing other solutions from the developing methods in the stability analysis of 3D rock slopes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-76
Number of pages18
JournalGeomechanics and Engineering
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016


  • Failure criterion
  • Limit analysis
  • Rock slope
  • Stability
  • Three-dimensional


Dive into the research topics of 'Limit analysis of 3D rock slope stability with non-linear failure criterion'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this