Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 16, Issue 1, pp 153–167 | Cite as

Influence of non-dimensional strength parameters on the seismic stability of cracked slopes

  • Lian-heng Zhao
  • Xiao ChengEmail author
  • De-jian Li
  • Ying-bin ZhangEmail author


Cracks in rock or soil slopes influence the stability and durability of the slopes. Seismic forces can trigger slope disasters, particularly in the cracked slopes. Considering the nonlinear characteristics of materials, the more generalized nonlinear failure criterion proposed by Baker is adopted. The influence of non-dimensional strength parameters on the stability of cracked slopes under earthquakes is performed using the upper bound limit analysis. The seismic displacement is calculated by adopting the logarithmic spiral failure surface according to the sliding rigid block model. Based on the existing studies, two methods for the stability analysis of cracked slopes under earthquakes are introduced: the pseudo-static method (with the factor of safety (Fs) as an evaluation index), and the displacement-based method (with the seismic displacement as an evaluation index). The pseudo-static method can only determine the instantaneous stability state of the cracked slope, yet the displacement-based method reflects the stability variation of cracked slopes during earthquakes. The results indicate that the nondimensional strength parameters affect the factor of safety and seismic displacement of slopes significantly. The non-dimensional strength parameter (n) controlling the curvature of strength function shapes on the slope stability is affected by other parameters. Owing to cracks, the effect of non-dimensional strength parameters on seismic displacement becomes more significant.


Cracked slopes Upper bound limit analysis (UBLA) Generalized nonlinear failure criterion Pseudo-static method Displacement-based method 


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This study was financially supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFC1501001); National Natural Science Foundation of China (51478477, 41672286, 51408511, 41530639 and 41761144080); Science & Technology Department of Sichuan Province (2017JQ0042) and the program of China Scholarship Council.

Supplementary material

11629_2017_4753_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (106 kb)
Supplementary material, approximately 107 KB.


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Civil EngineeringCentral South UniversityChangshaChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Heavy-haul Railway Engineering Structure, Ministry of EducationCentral South UniversityChangshaChina
  3. 3.Key Laboratory of Transportation Tunnel Engineering, Ministry of EducationSouthwest Jiaotong UniversityChengduChina
  4. 4.Department of Geotechnical Engineering, School of Civil EngineeringSouthwest Jiaotong UniversityChengduChina

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