Investigation of Advanced Non-Circular Slip Surfaces for Slopes
As technology has advanced over the past years, the slip surfaces analyzed during the design of slopes have become more advanced compared to the basic circular surfaces used in earlier years. While this has been happening, the slopes that were designed with the simpler circular methods and then re-evaluated with these new more complex non-circular methods are shown to have a lower factor of safety during re-evaluation. This then incites the question of what does this mean for engineering design? If we can prove that the more complex non-circular slip surface methods are more accurate, then a possible shift to a lower design factor of safety may be required. This would not mean that the slope is less stable, but that the methods to analyze these slopes have become more accurate; therefore, a higher factor of safety in design is not required. In order to investigate this and be able to verify results, the use of case studies is being implemented. These case studies give us soil information and design information, which can be remodeled in software and then analyzed using the different non-circular slip surface method. These can then be compared to the equivalent results of common circular methods. This research is still ongoing, but during early stages, there have been "critical" inputs that must be acknowledged, as they will drastically affect the calculated factor of safety for the slope being analyzed.