One of the modern methods for estimating the factor of safety for the stability of slopes is the strength reduction method. In recent times, computer codes have utilised the strength reduction method in conjunction with finite element analysis. This paper explores the implementation of a strength reduction finite element method with FORTRAN and Python codes in conjunction with the computer-aided engineering package Abaqus, incorporating a modified strength reduction definition, allowing for a refinement of the factor of safety search space. The computational efficiency of the modified method is compared with the traditional technique, for both 2D and 3D analysis. The algorithm results are compared for contrasting FEM element types and geometries and benchmarked against proprietary geotechnical finite element solvers.
Strength reduction method Finite element method Slope stability Factor of safety Abaqus FEM
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Financial support for this research has been provided by Earth Resources Regulation of the Victorian State Government Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources. The first author is funded by the Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) and the GHERG scholarship programme.
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