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Recent Developments in the Analysis and Monitoring of Rock Slopes


In analyzing the stability of rock slopes the most important patterns of failure involve planar, polygonal and wedge-shaped sliding surfaces. The sliding surfaces can also be stepped and the rock mass may also be composed of several bodies interacting with one another along internal failure surfaces. In many cases parametric studies for different modes of failure of the same rock mass have to be carried out. To facilitate the numerical procedure and to increase clarity of the basic mechanics of failure a unified mathematical treatment of the different failure modes has been attempted. Of special importance is the analogy between the problems of plane and wedge failure leading to a dramatic simplification of the mathematical treatment of the latter. As a consequence wedge failure also on stepped and polygonal sliding surfaces can be analyzed, cases which have not yet been dealt with in literature.
The problem of finding actual patterns of slope movement in hard rock requires both linewise observation and high precision of the field instruments. Linewise observation means the monitoring of the distribution of a deformation quantity along a line, e.g. the axis of a borehole. The recently developed portable strain meter probe, called Sliding Micrometer-ISETH, fulfils the above requirements providing the distribution of the axial strain with a base length of one meter and a field accuracy of better than 3 microstrains. The device has been successfully applied in the foundation rock of large dams aimed at detecting relative movements along discontinuities. The knowledge of both normal and shear displacements may be of importance when analyzing actual rock mass behavior.


Kovári, Kalman and Fritz, Pit

Index Terms:

slope; stability; monitoring; rock; TunnelingGroup; polygonal; Fritz, Pit; Kovari, Kalman


The simple DOS programs SLOPE and POLY for analyzing slopes with plane, wedge and polygonal sliding surfaces may be downloaded and used free of charge from our FTP server.
(See also "Slope Stability with Plane, Wedge and Polygonal Sliding Surfaces" by Kovári and Fritz, 1978.)

Further Information:

Date published: 1984