Journal of the Geological Society of India

, Volume 89, Issue 2, pp 165–174 | Cite as

Stability investigation of hill cut soil slopes along National highway 222 at Malshej Ghat, Maharashtra

  • L. K. Sharma
  • Ravi Kumar UmraoEmail author
  • Rajesh Singh
  • M. Ahmad
  • T. N. Singh
Research Articles


The section of about 12 km of National highway 222 passing through the Malshej Ghat experience frequent slope failure due to complex geological condition, heavy rainfall and slope geometry. The area is part of Western Ghat Deccan trap and slope masses are made of basalt and its weathered crust (debris/soil). The soil slope failure problem mainly occur in rainy seasons due to induced pore water pressure and reduced strength of the slope mass. The present study has been carried out to investigate the slope forming material and assess the stability of soil slopes by numerical approach. For the identification of the vulnerable zones, field study has been carried out and five vulnerable soil slopes identified namely MGS1, MGS2, MGS3, MGS4 and MGS5 on the basis of degree of weathering and slope geometry. The laboratory experiments were carried out to determine the strength properties of the geomaterials. All the input variables acquired from the field and laboratory experiments have been used for numerical simulation, which was performed with the help of limit equilibrium method (LEM) and finite element method (FEM). Numerical analysis provides understanding of the slope behaviour and illustrates that MGS1 and MGS3 are stable slopes, MGS2 and MGS4 are critically stable, whereas, slope MGS5 is unstable. This study recommend the protection of soil slopes and suggest that more detailed investigation is required for long term remedial measures to prevent risk of damage in Malshej Ghat.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ahmad, M., Ansari, M.K. and Singh, T.N. (2013a) Instability investigations of basaltic soil slopes along SH-72, Maharashtra, India. Geomat. Nat. Haz. Risk., v.6(2), pp.115–130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Ahmad, M., Umrao, R.K., Ansari, M.K., Singh, R. and Singh, T.N. (2013b) Assessment of rockfall hazard along the road cut slopes of State Highway-72. Geomaterials, v.3(1), pp.15–23.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Alavi, A.H. and Gandomi, A.H. (2012) Energy-based numerical models for assessment of soil liquefaction. Geoscience Front., v.3(4), pp.541–555.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. ASTM D2166 (2013) Standard Test Method for Unconfined Compressive Strength of Cohesive Soil. Annual book of ASTM standards, 04.08. Philadelphia (PA): ASTM.Google Scholar
  5. ASTM D698 (2012) Standard Test Methods for Laboratory Compaction Characteristics of Soil. Annual book of ASTM standards, 04.08. Philadelphia (PA): ASTM.Google Scholar
  6. ASTM D4767 (2011) Standard Test Method for Consolidated Undrained Triaxial Compression Test for Cohesive Soils, Annual book of ASTM standards, 04.08. Philadelphia (PA): ASTM.Google Scholar
  7. ASTM D4318 (2010) Standard Test Methods for Liquid Limit, Plastic Limit, and Plasticity Index of Soils”, Annual book of ASTM standards, 04.08. Philadelphia (PA): ASTM.Google Scholar
  8. ASTM D4943 (2008) Standard Test Method for Shrinkage Factors of Soils by the Wax Method”, Annual book of ASTM standards, 04.08. Philadelphia (PA): ASTM.Google Scholar
  9. Bhasin, R. and Kaynia, A.M. (2004) Static and dynamic simulation of a 700-m high rock slope failure in Western Norway. Engg. Geol., v.71(3-4), pp.213–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bishop, A.W. (1955) The use of the slip circle in the stability analysis of earth slopes. Geotechnique, v.5(1), pp.7–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Bodas, M.S., Khadri, S.F.R. and Subbarao, K.V. (1988) Stratigraphy of the Jawhar and Igatpuri Formations, Western Ghat lava pile, India. In: Subbarao, K.V. (Ed), Deccan Flood Basals. Mem. Geol. Soc. India, no.10, pp.235–252.Google Scholar
  12. Bodas, M.S., Khadri, S.F.R., Subbarao, K.V., Hooper, P.R. and Walsh, J.N. (1985) Flow stratigraphy of a part of the Western Deccan basalt Province: A preliminary study. Proc. 5th Session, Indian Geol. Congress, pp.339–347.Google Scholar
  13. Chen, Z. and Shao, C. (1988) Evaluation of minimum factor of safety in slope stability analysis. Can. Geotech. Jour., v.25, pp.735–748.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Coggan, J.S., Stead, D. and Eyre, J.M. (1998) Evaluation of techniques for quarry slope stability assessment. Trans. Inst. Min. Metall. Sect. B. Appl. Earth. Sci., v.107, pp.B139–B147.Google Scholar
  15. Dawson, E.M., Roth, W.H. and Drescher, A. (1999) Slope stability analysis by strength reduction. Geotechnique, v.49(6), pp.835–840.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Fellenius, W. (1936) Calculation of the stability of earth dams. Proc. Second Congress of Large Dams, Washington, v.4, pp.445–463.Google Scholar
  17. Godbole, S.M., Rana, R.S. and Natu, S.R. (1996) Lava Stratigraphy of Deccan Basalts of Western Maharastra. Gondwana Geol. Mag., v.2, pp.125–134.Google Scholar
  18. Griffiths, D.V. and Lane, P.A. (1999) Slope stability analysis by finite elements. Geotechnique, v.49(3), pp.387–403.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gupte, S.S., Singh, R. and Singh, T.N. (2013) In-pit waste dump stability analysis using two dimensional numerical models. Min. Eng. Jour., v.14(7), pp.16–20.Google Scholar
  20. Hammah, R.E., Yacoub, T.E., Corkum, B., Curran, J.H. and Wibowo, F. (2007) Analysis of blocky rock slopes with finite element shear strength reduction analysis. Proc. 1st Canada-US rock mechanics symposium Vancouver rocks 2007. Vancouver, Canada.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Hooper, P.R., Subbarao, K.V. and Beane, J.E. (1988) The giant plagioclase basalts (GPBs) of the Western Ghats, Deccan Traps. Mem. Geol. Soc. India., no.10.Google Scholar
  22. ISRM (1981) Rock characterization, testing and monitoring. In: Brown ET (ed) ISRM suggested methods, International Society for Rock Mechanics. Pergamon Press, Oxford.Google Scholar
  23. Janbu, N., Bjerrum, L. and Kjaernsli, B. (1956) Soil mechanics applied to some engineering problems. Oslo: Norwegian Geotech. Instit. Publ. 16.Google Scholar
  24. Jing, L. (2003) A review of techniques, advances and outstanding issues in numerical modelling for rock mechanics and rock engineering. Internat. Jour. Rock Mech. Min. Sci., v.40, pp.283–353.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Jing, L., Hudson, J.A. (2002) Numerical methods in rock mechanics. Internat. Jour. Roc. Mech. Min. Sci., v.39, pp.409–427.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kainthola, A., Verma, D., Thareja, R. and Singh, T.N. (2013) A review on numerical slope stability analysis. Internat. Jour. Sci. Engg. Tech. Res., v.2(6), pp.1315–1320.Google Scholar
  27. Kainthola, A., Singh, P.K., Wasnik, A.B., Sazid, M. and Singh, T.N. (2012) Finite element analysis of road cut slopes using Hoek and Brown failure criterion. Internat. Jour. Earth Sci. Engg., v.5(5), pp.1100–1109.Google Scholar
  28. Matsui, T. and San, K. (1992) Finite element slope stability analysis by shear strength reduction technique. Soils Found., v.32, pp.59–70.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Morgenstern, N.R. and Price, V.E. (1965) The Analysis of the Stability of General Slip Surfaces. Geotechnique, v.15(1), pp.79–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Pradhan, B. and Saied, P. (2010) Comparison between prediction capabilities of neural network and fuzzy logic techniques for landslide susceptibility mapping. Disaster Adv., v.3(3), pp.26–34.Google Scholar
  31. Ramakrishnan, D., Singh, T.N., Verma, A.K., Gulati, A. and Tiwari, K.C. (2013) Soft computing and GIS for landslide susceptibility assessment in Tawaghat area,Kumaon Himalaya, India. Nat. Hazards, v.65(1), pp.315–330.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Sharma, L.K., Umrao, R.K., Singh, R., Ahmad, M., Singh, T.N. (2016) Geotechnical characterization of road cut hill slope forming unconsolidated geo-materials: A case study. Geotech. Geol. Engg., pp.1–13. doi:10.1007/s10706-016-0093-8.Google Scholar
  33. Singh, P.K., Wasnik, A.B., Kainthola, A., Sazid, M. and Singh, T.N. (2013a) The stability of road cut cliff face along SH-121: a case study. Nat. Hazards, v.68(2), pp.497–507.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Singh, R., Umrao, R.K. and Singh, T.N. (2014) Stability evaluation of roadcut slopes in the Lesser Himalaya of Uttarakhand, India: conventional and numerical approaches. Bull. Engg. Geol. Environ., v.73(3), pp.845–857.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Singh, R., Umrao, R.K. and Singh, T.N. (2013b) Probabilistic analysis of slope in Amiyan landslide area, Uttarakhand. Geomat. Nat. Haz. Risk., v.4(1), pp.13–29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Singh, R., Kianthola, A. and Singh, T.N. (2012) Estimation of elastic constant of rocks using an ANFIS approach. Appl. Soft. Comput., v.12, pp.40–45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Singh, T.N. and Singh, D.P. (1992) Prediction of instability of slopes in an opencast mine over old surface and underground workings. Int. Jour. Sur. Min., v.6(2), pp.81–89.Google Scholar
  38. Souley, M. and Homand, F. (1996) Stability of jointed rock masses evaluated by UDEC with an extended Saeb Amadei constitutive law. Int. J. Rock Mech. Min. Sci. Geomech. Abstr., v.33, pp.233–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Spencer, E. (1967) A method of analysis of embankments assuming parallel interslice forces. Geotechnique, v.17, pp.11–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Umrao, R.K., Singh, R., Ahmad, M. and Singh, T.N. (2012) Role of advance numerical simulation in landslide analysis: a case study. In: Proc. Natl. Conf. on Advanced Trends in Applied Sciences and Technology, Surat, India, 27–28 Jan, pp.590–597.Google Scholar
  41. Umrao, R.K., Singh, R., Ahmad, M. and Singh, T.N. (2011) Stability analysis of cut slopes using continuous slope mass rating and kinematic analysis in Rudraprayag district, Uttarakhand. Geomaterials, v.1, pp.79–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Zhu, D., Lee, C.F., Jiang, H.D. (2003) Generalized framework of limit equilibrium methods for slope stability analysis. Geotechnique, v.4, pp.377–395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Zienkiewicz, O.C. (1977) The finite element method in engineering sciences, 3rd edn. McGraw-Hill, New York.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Geological Society of India 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • L. K. Sharma
    • 1
  • Ravi Kumar Umrao
    • 1
    Email author
  • Rajesh Singh
    • 1
  • M. Ahmad
    • 1
  • T. N. Singh
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesIndian Institute of Technology BombayMumbaiIndia

Personalised recommendations