Advertisement

Combined Effect of Rainfall and Shear Strength on the Stability of Highway Embankments Made of Yazoo Clay in Mississippi

  • 26 Accesses

Abstract

Shallow slope failure repeatedly occurs in many highway slopes in Mississippi due to the abundance of expansive Yazoo Clay. The highly plastic clay soil undergoes repetitive wet–dry cycles, which reduces the shear strength to fully soften state. The current study focused on the progressive change in shear strength and the safety factor of slopes constructed out of Yazoo Clay. Undisturbed and remolded specimens were used to determine the peak, fully softened and residual shear strength, with effective normal stresses of 25, 50, and 100 kPa. The variations in shear strength were investigated with the 2D slope stability analysis software, which uses the Finite Element Method, Plaxis 2D. A highway slope in Jackson, MS was considered as the reference slope. Different rainfall volumes, 70.8 mm (2.78 in.) to 312.4 mm (12.29 in.), with a rainfall duration (30 min–7 days) based on 100-year return periods of Jackson, MS were utilized. Furthermore, three slope ratios 2H:1V, 3H:1V and, 4H:1V were selected for this study. The safety factor of the slope was determined based on peak shear strength soil test data. Later, the topsoil layer, which gets weathered within the active zone due to the repeated wet–dry cycle, was varied to fully softened and residual shear strengths. The slope stability analysis results showed that the safety factor reduces progressively from peak to residual shear strength. In addition, the factor of safety was critical when the soil reached its fully softened shear strength for 2H:1V and 3H:1V slopes with progressive rainfall. On the other hand, the 4H:1V slope reached failure at the residual phase with the presence of rainfall.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Access options

Buy single article

Instant unlimited access to the full article PDF.

US$ 39.95

Price includes VAT for USA

Subscribe to journal

Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.

US$ 99

This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6
Fig. 7
Fig. 8
Fig. 9
Fig. 10
Fig. 11

References

  1. Alonso E, Gens A, Lloret A, Delahaye C (1995) Effect of rain infiltration on the stability of slopes. In: Proceedings of the first international conference on unsaturated soils, UNSAT’95, Paris, France, vol 1, pp 241–249

  2. ASTM (1994) Standard test method for liquid limit, plastic limit and plasticity index of soils. ASTM Designation: D4318-93, American Society for Testing and Materials, West Conshohoken

  3. Au SWC (1998) Rain-induced slope instability in Hong Kong. Eng Geol 51(1):1–36

  4. Brand EW (1984) Landslides in Southeast Asia: A state-of-art report. In: Proceedings of the 4th international symposium on landslides. Canadian Geotechnical Society, Toronto, pp 17–59

  5. Calvello M, Cascini L, Sorbino G (2008) A numerical procedure for predicting rainfall-induced movements of active landslides along pre-existing slip surfaces. Int J Numer Anal Meth Geomech 32(4):327–351

  6. Chabrillat S, Goetz AF, Krosley L, Olsen HW (2002) Use of hyperspectral images in the identification and mapping of expansive clay soils and the role of spatial resolution. Remote Sens Environ 82(2):431–445

  7. Clark GM (1987) Dehris slide and debris flow historical events in the Appalachians south of the glacial horder. In: Costa JE, Wieczorek GF (eds) Reviews in engineering geology, volume VII-debris flows/avalanches: process, recognition and mitigation. Geological Society of America, Boulder, pp 125–138

  8. Crosta GB (2001) Failure and flow development of a complex slide: the 1993 Sesa landslide. Eng Geol 59(1–2):173–199

  9. Das BM (2013) Advanced soil mechanics. CRC Press, Boca Raton

  10. Day RW, Axten GW (1989) Surficial stability of compacted clay slopes. J Geophys Eng 115(4):577–580.f

  11. de Campos LEP, Menezes MSS (1991) ‘A proposed procedure for slope stability analysis in tropical soils. In: Proceeding of the 6th international symposium on landslides, Christchurch, New Zealand, Balkema, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, vol 2, 1351–1355

  12. de Campos MP, Andrade MHN, Vargas EA Jr (1992) Unsaturated colluvium over rock slide in a forested site in Rio de Janeiro. Brazil. In: Proceedings of the 6th international symposium on landslides. A. A. Balkema, Brookfield, pp 1357–1364

  13. Dietrich WE, Reiss R, Hsu M, Montgomery DR (1995) A process-based model for colluvial soil depth and shallow land sliding using digital elevation data. Hydrol Process. 9:383–400

  14. Dockery DT (2005) Engineering geologic failures and cost overruns: examples from Mississippi. In: Geological Society of America, Southeastern Section, 54th annual meeting, abstracts with programs 37(2)

  15. Douglas SC, Dunlap GT (2000) Light commercial construction on Yazoo clay. In: Proceeding of the 2nd Forensic Congress, ASCE, Reston. Edition. PTI Manual, Phoenix, pp 607–616

  16. Ellen SD, Fleming RW (1987) Mobilization of debris flows from soil slips. San Francisco Bay region, California. In: Costa JE, Wieczorek GF (eds) Reviews in engineering geology, volume VII-debris flows/avalanches: process. Recognition, and mitigation. Geological Society of America. Boulder, pp 31–40

  17. Eschner AR, Patric JH (1982) Dehris avalanches in eastern upland forests. J For HO(o):343–347

  18. Eyles GO (1985) The New Zealand land resource inventory erosion classification. Water and Soil Misc. Publication No. 85, Soil Conservation Ctr., Aokautere, Ministry of Works and Development, Wellington

  19. Fannin RJ, Jaakkola J (1999) Hydrological response of hillslope soils above a debris-slide head scarp. Can Geotech J 36(6):1111–1122

  20. Fourie AB (1996) Predicting rainfall-induced slope instability. Proc Inst Civ Eng Geotech Eng 119(4):211–218

  21. Fredlund DG, Rahardjo H (1993) Soil mechanics for unsaturated soils. Wiley, Hoboken

  22. Guzzetti F, Peruccacci S, Rossi M, Stark CP (2007) Rainfall thresholds for the initiation of landslides in central and southern Europe. Meteorol Atmos Phys 98(3–4):239–267

  23. Hensen EJ, Smit B (2002) Why clays swell. J Phys Chem 106(49):12664–12667

  24. Hossain J, Hossain MS, Hoyos LR (2013) Effect of rainfall on stability of unsaturated earth slope constructed on expansive clay. Geocongress. American Society of Civil Engineers, San Diego

  25. Johnson KA, Sitar N (1990) Hydrologic conditions leading to debris-flow initiation. Can Geotech J 27:789–801

  26. Kayyal MK, Wright SG (1991) Investigation of long-term strength properties of paris and beaumont clays in earth embankments. Center for Transportation Research, Research Report 1195-2F

  27. Khan MS, Ivoke J, Nobahar M (2019) Coupled effect of wet-dry cycles and rainfall on highway slope made of Yazoo Clay. Geosciences, Open Access Journal by MDPI, ISSN 2076-3263, Manuscript ID 504447, April 28th, 9(8):341. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9080341

  28. Kim J, Jeong S, Park S, Sharma J (2004) Influence of rainfall-induced wetting on the stability of slopes in weathered soils. Eng Geol 75(3–4):251–262

  29. Lee Jr, Landris T (2012) State study 151 and 236: Yazoo Clay investigation. MDOT State Study 236, US Army Corps of Engineers

  30. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Daily Climate Report (2014) https://hdsc.nws.noaa.gov/hdsc/pfds/pfds_map_cont.html?bkmrk=ms. Accessed 21 Apr 2017

  31. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Data Snapshot Details (2019) https://www.climate.gov/maps-data/data-snapshots/data-source-average-monthly-temperature. Accessed 29 Oct 2019

  32. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Climate Report (2019) https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/national/201909/supplemental/page-2. Accessed 29 Oct 2019

  33. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Quantitive Precipitation Estimates (2019)https://water.weather.gov/precip/. Accessed 29 Oct 2019

  34. Neary DG, Swift LWJ (1987) Rainfall thresholds for triggering a debris avalanching event in the southern Appalachian Mountains. In: Costa JE, Wieczorek GF (eds) Reviews in energy. Geology, Volume VII-debris flows avalanches: process, recognition, and mitigation. Geological Society of America, Boulder, pp 81–92

  35. Ng CWW, Menzies B (2007) Advanced unsaturated soil mechanics and engineering. CRC Press, Taylor and Francis Group, Boca Raton

  36. Ng CWW, Wang B, Tung YK (2001) Three-dimensional numerical investigations of groundwater responses in an unsaturated slope subjected to various rainfall patterns. Can Geotech J 38(5):1049–1062

  37. Nobahar M, Khan MS, Ivoke J, Amini F (2019) Impact of rainfall variation on slope made of expansive Yazoo Clay soil in Mississippi. Transportation Infrastructure Geotechnology, Springer US, Online ISSN 2196-7210, July 27th. https://doi.org/10.1007/s40515-019-00083-w

  38. Olive W, Chleborad A, Frahme C, Shlocker J, Schneider R, Schuster R (1989) Swelling clays map of the conterminous United States. USGS Miscellaneous Investigation Series, https://geology.com/articles/soil/

  39. Pomeroy JS (1980) Storm-induced debris avalanching and related phenomena in the Johnstown area, with references to other studies in the Appalachians. Profl. Paper Jl91, U.S. Geological Society, Washington, D.C

  40. Rahardjo H, Fredlund DG (1995) Procedures for slope stability analyses involving unsaturated soils. Dev Deep Found Ground Improv Sch, Balkema, pp 33–56

  41. Rahardjo H, Lee TT, Leong EC, Rezaur RB (2005) Response of a residual soil slope to rainfall. Can Geotech J 42(2):340–351

  42. Rahardjo H, Ong TH, Rezaur RB, Leong EC (2007) Factors controlling instability of homogeneous soil slopes under rainfall. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 133(12):1532–1543

  43. Rahardjo H, Leong EC, Rezaur RB (2008) Effect of antecedent rainfall on pore-water pressure distribution characteristics in residual soil slopes under tropical rainfall. Hydrol Process 22(4):506–523

  44. Rahimi A, Rahardjo H, Leong E (2011) Effect of antecedent rainfall patterns on rainfall-induced slope failure. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 137(5):483–491

  45. Ryan C (1988) Bola storm highlights unstable uplands. Nat Bus Rev. Masterton, New Zealand. May 13, 17–19

  46. Skempton AW (1984) Slope stability of cuttings in brown London Clay. In: Proceeding of ninth international conference on soil mechanics and foundation engineering, Tokyo, vol 3, pp 261–270

  47. Stephens I, Branch A (2013) Testing procedure for estimating fully softened shear strengths of soils using reconstituted material. Engineer Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, MS Geotechnical and Structures Lab, Vicksburg

  48. Taylor AC (2005) Mineralogy and engineering properties of the Yazoo clay formation. Jackson Group, Master’s Thesis, Mississippi State University

  49. Tohari A, Nishigaki M, Komatsu M (2007) Laboratory rainfall-induced slope failure with moisture content measurement. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 133(5):575–587

  50. Tsaparas I, Rahardjo H, Toll DG, Leong EC (2002) Controlling parameters for rainfall-induced landslides. Comput Geotech 29(1):1–27

  51. Wright SG (2005). Evaluation of soil shear strengths for slope and retaining wall stability analyses with emphasis on high plasticity Clays. Federal Highway Administration, Washington, D.C, FHWA/TX-06/5-1874-01-1

  52. Yoshida Y, Kuwano J, Kuwano R (1991) Rain-induced slope failures caused by reduction in soil strength. Soils Found 31(4):187–193

Download references

Acknowledgements

The studies described in this paper are based on the work supported by the Mississippi Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) State Study 286. The findings, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and, necessarily, it does not reflect the viewpoints of the MDOT.

Author information

Correspondence to Masoud Nobahar.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Nobahar, M., Khan, M.S. & Ivoke, J. Combined Effect of Rainfall and Shear Strength on the Stability of Highway Embankments Made of Yazoo Clay in Mississippi. Geotech Geol Eng (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10706-020-01187-8

Download citation

Keywords

  • Progressive change in shear strength
  • Factor of safety
  • Fully softened shear strength
  • Wet–dry cycle
  • Yazoo clay
  • Finite element method