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Publication - Dr Liz Holcombe

    Analysis of design choices for a slope stability scenario in the humid tropics


    Shepheard, CJ, Vardanega, PJ, Holcombe, EA & Michaelides, K, 2018, ‘Analysis of design choices for a slope stability scenario in the humid tropics’. Proceedings of the ICE - Engineering Sustainability, vol 171., pp. 37-52


    Prediction of the conditions under which landslides may occur is essential for designing sustainable risk-mitigation measures and cost-effective geotechnical structures. Slope stability analyses typically account for slope geometry, soil mechanical properties and groundwater conditions to determine the performance of a slope with respect to a specified factor of safety. These properties vary both spatially and over time; geotechnical design codes require the use of factored design parameter values to account for possible worst-case conditions. Furthermore, standard geotechnical analyses typically exclude the dynamic hydrological processes of rainfall infiltration and loss of matric suction that often trigger landslides. Slope stability assessment is particularly challenging in developing countries with limited resources for acquiring slope data, meeting conservative design standards and mitigating landslide risk.
    This study applied a combined slope hydrology and stability model to address these issues for a residual soil slope in the tropics. This paper presents a method for maximising stability information from limited data, disaggregating the effects of three different design parameter sets and factor of safety threshold choices, as well as diagnosing the dominant geotechnical and dynamic landslide-triggering factors. This modelling approach provides a more transparent basis for sustainable slope-management decisions.

    Full details in the University publications repository