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Seismic slope stability and failure process analysis using explicit finite element method

Abstract

Earthquake is one of the primary factors that triggers the failure of slopes and the landslides in the mountainous area. In this study, an efficient method for the seismic slope stability analysis and seismic failure process simulation is proposed. The seismic slope stability and the failure process of a two-dimensional slope model are analyzed via the explicit finite element method with the influence of the dynamic mechanical behavior of soil and the frictional resistance characteristic of the slope rupture surface. A dynamic visco-elasto-plastic constituted model for soil is established and written in FORTRAN as a user subroutine of the finite element method code of ABAQUS. The validation of the visco-elasto-plastic constituted model and the explicit finite element method are compared with the experimental results and the implicit method. The seismic factor of safety and the sliding distance of the soil slopes under the natural earthquake conditions are calculated via the dynamic visco-elasto-plastic constituted model and the explicit finite element method. The influence of the ground motion characteristics on the seismic slope stability is analyzed in this study via the specified elastic response acceleration spectrum. The analysis results of this paper suggest that the seismic slope stability analysis and the progressive failure process of the slope under the seismic condition can be analyzed by the explicit finite element method efficiently. The results show that the dynamic mechanical behavior of soil and the ground motion characteristics are both critical influence factors for the seismic slope stability. The frictional resistance characteristic of the slope rupture surface is the principal influence factor for the sliding distance of the slope, and it also has more influence on the sliding distance of a high slope than that of the small slope.

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Funding

The research described in this paper was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41630639, 51879212). The first author of the paper received scholarship (CSC NO. 201808615023) from the Chinese Scholarship Council (CSC) to conduct the research described in this paper at Colorado School of Mines.

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Correspondence to Zongyuan Ma.

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Ma, Z., Liao, H., Dang, F. et al. Seismic slope stability and failure process analysis using explicit finite element method. Bull Eng Geol Environ 80, 1287–1301 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10064-020-01989-3

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10064-020-01989-3

Keywords

  • Earthquake
  • Seismic slope stability
  • Slope failure process
  • Large deformation
  • Explicit finite element method