Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 13, Issue 9, pp 1515–1526 | Cite as

Three-dimensional stability of landslides based on local safety factor

  • Tao Yang
  • Man-chu Ronald Yeung
  • Bing YangEmail author
  • Yong-jiang Liu
  • Yan-xin Yang


Unlike the limit equilibrium method (LEM), with which only the global safety factor of the landslide can be calculated, a local safety factor (LSF) method is proposed to evaluate the stability of different sections of a landslide in this paper. Based on three-dimensional (3D) numerical simulation results, the local safety factor is defined as the ratio of the shear strength of the soil at an element on the slip zone to the shear stress parallel to the sliding direction at that element. The global safety factor of the landslide is defined as the weighted average of all local safety factors based on the area of the slip surface. Some example analyses show that the results computed by the LSF method agree well with those calculated by the General Limit Equilibrium (GLE) method in two-dimensional (2D) models and the distribution of the LSF in the 3D slip zone is consistent with that indicated by the observed deformation pattern of an actual landslide in China.


Landslide stability Local safety factor Stability analysis method Slip mechanism 


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tao Yang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Man-chu Ronald Yeung
    • 3
  • Bing Yang
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Yong-jiang Liu
    • 4
  • Yan-xin Yang
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Civil EngineeringSouthwest Jiaotong UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.MOE Key Laboratory of Transportation Tunnel EngineeringChengduChina
  3. 3.Department of Civil EngineeringCalifornia State Polytechnic UniversityPomonaUSA
  4. 4.Transportation Research Institute of ChongqingChongqingChina

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