Brunel University London
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The water weakening effect on the progressive slope failure under excavation and rainfall conditions

posted on 2024-07-02, 08:00 authored by Xiang Yu, Tao ZhaoTao Zhao, Bin GongBin Gong, Chun’an Tang

The water weakening effect refers to the gradual deterioration of soil mechanical properties under long-term saturation. This paper analyzed the impact of water weakening on slope stability under alternating excavation and rainfall. The field investigation speculated shale hydration as the cause of overall slope instability. The mechanical parameters of hydrated shale were determined by the parameter inversion and empirical estimation methods. The simulations were used to restore the process of parameter weakening and slope failure, and confirmed the fact that hydration causes landslide. Furthermore, the failure mechanism of slope and support structure under hydration were investigated. The results show that the mechanical parameters of the slope decreased linearly, whereas the plastic strain-time and total displacement-maximum shear stress curves of the hydrated shale exhibited three stages: slow initial growth, rapid growth in the middle term, and rapid increase in the later period; the rate of slope deformation and the factor of safety reduction also gradually increase over time; under middle stage of hydration, the middle to rear of shale were extruded, while the front first underwent tensile shear deformation, forming a plastic zone of at rear and front excavated slope; In the late stage, hydrated shale quickly reaches its yield limit (maximum shear stress of 270 kPa), the middle and rear shale is damaged and compresses the front, causing it to transform from tensile shear to compressive shear failure. The plastic zone in the rear extends forward and connects with the front ones, forming an overall landslide. Besides, preventing deep landslides caused by hydration through waterproofing, drainage, protection, and support for excavated slopes has proven difficult. Therefore, it is necessary to redesign treatment schemes based on the characteristics of stress, strain, and seepage.


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