Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 13, Issue 9, pp 1663–1674 | Cite as

Effect of the inclined weak interlayers on the rainfall response of a bedded rock slope

  • Long-qi LiEmail author
  • Neng-pan JuEmail author


Engineering experience shows that outward dipping bedded rock slopes, especially including weak interlayers, are prone to slide under rainfall conditions. To investigate the effect of inclined weak interlayers at various levels of depth below the surface on the variation of displacements and stresses in bedded rock slopes, four geo-mechanical model tests with artificial rainfall have been conducted. Displacements, water content as well as earth pressure in the model were monitored by means of various FBG (Fiber Bragg Grating) sensors. The results showed that the amount of displacement of a slope with a weak interlayer is 2.8 to 6.2 times larger than that of a slope without a weak interlayer during one rainfall event. Furthermore, the position of the weak interlayer in terms of depth below the surface has a significant effect on the zone of deformation in the model. In the slope with a high position weak interlayer, the recorded deformation was larger in the superficial layer of the model and smaller in the frontal portion than in the slope with a low position weak interlayer. The slope with two weak interlayers has the largest deformation at all locations of all test slopes. The slope without a weak interlayer was only saturated in its superficial layer, while the displacement decreased with depth. That was different from all slopes with a weak interlayer in which the largest displacement shifted from the superficial layer to the weak interlayer when rainfall persisted. Plastic deformation of the weak interlayer promoted the formation of cracks which caused more water to flow into the slope, thus causing larger deformation in the slope with weak interlayers. In addition, the slide thrust pressure showed a vibration phenomenon 0.5 to 1 hour ahead of an abrupt increase of the deformation, which was interpreted as a predictor for rainfall-induced failure of bedded rock slopes.


Bedded rock slope Inclined weak interlayer Rainfall Model test 


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Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Geohazard Prevention and Geoenvironment ProtectionChengdu University of TechnologyChengduChina
  2. 2.College of Environment and Civil EngineeringChengdu University of TechnologyChengduChina

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