Consequences of seismic excitation on slopes in soils with a tensile strength cutoff

Dowon Park, Zhijie Wang, Radoslaw L. Michalowski

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The yield criterion typically employed in slope stability analyses is the Mohr-Coulomb function with internal friction angle and the cohesion as the two strength parameters. The implication of this yield function is the presence of the tensile strength. However, it is doubtful whether geotechnical design should rely on the existence of tensile strength in soils, and models such as Cam clay do not allow uniaxial tensile strength in soils. It is demonstrated that eliminating tensile strength from the yield condition leads to a reduction in the stability factor. This is because the absence of tensile strength allows a larger variety of admissible failure surfaces. Seismic excitation produces the load that amplifies adverse consequences of the absence of the tensile strength. Two types of mechanisms are considered: translational and rotational. Examples of analyses with both types of collapse mechanisms are presented using the kinematic approach of limit analysis.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGeotechnical Special Publication
EditorsThomas L. Brandon, Richard J. Valentine
PublisherAmerican Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)
Number of pages10
EditionGSP 278
ISBN (Electronic)9780784480458
StatePublished - 2017
EventGeotechnical Frontiers 2017 - Orlando, United States
Duration: 12 Mar 201715 Mar 2017

Publication series

NameGeotechnical Special Publication
NumberGSP 278
ISSN (Print)0895-0563


ConferenceGeotechnical Frontiers 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States


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