Key Role of a Slope Stability Assessment in a Geotechnical Engineering Design

When designing a structure in an unstable area, such as that on mountainsides, with slopes or slanted ground, it is fundamental in the architectural and geotechnical design to consider the parameters set by an executed slope stability assessment. The criteria set from the assessment would be the key to knowing what the design of the structure should be and the materials needed to be utilized in building the structure.

A slope stability assessment begins with finding geotechnical engineer the proper method on how to analyze the stability of the ground on slopes. It is important that the design is dictated by the assessment’s criteria of testing the strength, conditions, and factors of safety in the equilibrium of slopes of the earth, embankments in the soil and on its soft rock. Methods that do not satisfy all conditions of equilibrium may involve significant inaccuracies and may be the cause of an unwanted tragedy. Assessment on slopes should be used under very strict conditions.

The assessment would usually comprise finding the effect of differential settlements where the embankments are located. These areas would generally be compressible foundations in narrow, deep valleys, stress-strain compatibility of zones of different materials within an embankment, or of the embankment and its foundation. These assessments should be conducted by professional engineers, typically, civil and geotechnical engineering slope stability consultants.

The stability assessment of slopes becomes the ultimate consideration of the materials to be used, as well as, the design parameters of a geotechnical design. This is usually evaluated through exercise of engineering judgment by the slope stability consultant. It is the chief responsibility of the consultant to analyze the stability of slopes, categorically focused on giving accurate assumptions of the strength of the slope, necessary in the design and mobilization of the materials to be utilized along the sliding surfaces of the area. The limit equilibrium analysis assume the factor of safety along the entire slip surface. The assessment calculate the safety capacity demand of slopes, and assume stability with respect to sliding along the assumed particular slip surface analyzed.

Effective slope stability consultants are typically construction engineers that create a safe design, rather than those that just specify rigid procedures to be followed in connection with a particular project. They follow conventional limit equilibrium methods used in geotechnical practice to investigate the equilibrium of a soil mass tending to move down-slope under the influence of gravity. They typically provide slope analyses that have comparison between forces, moments, or stresses tending to cause instability of the mass, and those that resist instability.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *