Sensitivity of the stability assessment of a deep excavation to the material characterisations and analysis methods
Ghadrdan, M and Shaghaghi, T and Tolooiyan, A, Sensitivity of the stability assessment of a deep excavation to the material characterisations and analysis methods, Geomechanics and Geophysics for Geo-Energy and Geo-Resources, 6, (4) Article 59. ISSN 2363-8419 (2020) [Refereed Article]
Due to the spatial variability of material characterisations in deep and large scale excavations, stability assessment is often a challenging task. Numerous slope stability analysis methods based on a range of assumptions and principles are implemented in commercial software packages to ease the process of stability assessment of non-homogeneous and multi-layered slopes. However, the selection of a suitable method remains crucial as the application of an unrealistic or unsuitable method may lead to catastrophic consequences. Besides material shear strength parameters, and analysis methods, non-strength characterisations such as permeability and creep can affect the result of slope stability analysis significantly. In this study, the sensitivity of the stability assessment of a deep excavation in Australia to material characterisations such as friction angle, cohesion and permeability and creep is investigated by the use of different formulations and assumptions of the Limit Equilibrium Method (LEM) and the Finite Element Method (FEM) as the two most common slope stability methods. The results show that the stability assessment is highly sensitive to the applied method and assumptions. Moreover, the role of material strength and non-strength parameters and the selection of a suitable constitutive model in slope stability assessment is presented.
slope stability, sensitivity analysis, factor of safety, LEM, FEM