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# Seismic Slope Stability Analysis

Part - II
Lecture-35
1
Newmarks rigid Block Analysis
Newmark (1965) developed a simple procedure to estimate permanent
slope displacement due to earthquake shaking by extending the
pseudostatic approach to a sliding rigid block and considering the
acceleration-time history of the sliding mass within the slope

The method assumes that permanent displacement at some well-
defined slip surface begins when the inertial forces induced by the
seismic excitation exceed the resisting forces that result from the full
mobilization of interfacial shear strength along the potential failure
surface

Since the servicability of the slope after the earthquake depends on the
deformations induced in the slope during earthquake, this method is
comparatively more useful than the pseudostatic analysis.
2
Newmarks rigid block analysis
Fig: Analogy between (a) potential landslide and (b) rigid block sliding on a plane

Newmark considered the behaviour of sliding slope analogous to a rigid
block sliding on an inclined plane.
This analogy is used to compute the permanent deformations in the
slope for any specific ground motion.
3
Newmarks rigid block analysis
Fig: Forces acting on a rigid block resting on an inclined plane under
(a) Static conditions (b) Dynamic conditions
Under static conditions, equilibrium of the block requires that the available static
resisting force R
s
exceed the static driving force D
s
. Assuming that the blocks
resistance is purely frictional (c=0),

Where | is the angle of friction between the block and the plane.
|
|
|
| |
tan
tan
sin
tan cos
= = =
W
W
D
R
FOS
s
s
4
Newmarks rigid block analysis
Fig: Forces acting on a rigid block resting on an inclined plane under
(a) Static conditions (b) Dynamic conditions
Under dynamic conditions, considering the effect of inertial forces transmitted to
the block by the horizontal vibration of the inclined plane with acceleration a
h
(t) =
k
h
(t)g (neglecting the effect of vertical accelerations), resolving the forces
perpendicular to the inclined plane gives the dynamic factor of safety at time t as

Where | is the angle of friction between the block and the plane.
| |
| | |
cos ) ( sin
tan ) sin ) ( (cos
) (
) (
) (
t k
t k
t D
t R
t FOS
h
h
d
d
d
+

= =
5
Newmarks rigid block analysis
Because of inertia, the block will tend to move in a direction opposite to the
acceleration of the base. However, the block will begin to move relative to the
base only when the sum of the static and dynamic driving forces exceed the
resisting forces. This equilibrium condition, when the block begins to slide, is
expressed in terms of a yield acceleration (a
y
)
Fig: Forces acting on a rigid block resting on an inclined plane under
(a) Static conditions (b) Dynamic conditions
6
Newmarks rigid block analysis
The dynamic factor of safety decreases as the horizontal seismic coefficient k
h

increases.

The value of k
h
for which the factor of safety becomes exactly 1.0 is termed as
yield coefficient k
y
.

Yield acceleration a
y
(=k
y
g) is the minimum pseudostatic acceleration required to
produce instability of the block.

Substituting 1.0 for FOS in the above equation, we get
| |
| | |
cos ) ( sin
tan ) sin ) ( (cos
) (
) (
) (
t k
t k
t D
t R
t FOS
h
h
d
d
d
+

= =
) tan(
tan tan 1
tan tan
| |
| |
| |
=
+

=
y
k
7
Newmarks rigid block analysis
Fig: Variation of pseudostatic factor of safety with horizontal seismic coefficient
for a rigid block on a plane inclined at 20
Note: For | of 20, factor of safety is 1.0 and the block is at the point of failure
under static conditions hence, k
y
is zero. For | of 30 and 40, k
y
is 0.17 and
0.36 respectively.
8
Source: Kramer (1996)
Computing permanent displacements
Fig: Computing permanent displacements in Newmarks rigid block analysis
9
Given the yield acceleration, the total accumulated displacement is
computed by double integration of the base acceleration record as
shown in figure in the previous slide.

When the base acceleration exceeds the yield value, the block slides
and the first integration gives the velocity of the block. The velocity
reaches a peak after the base acceleration reverses direction and
eventually the velocity declines to zero.

The second integration, of the velocity record, produces the net
displacement during each pulse where the yield acceleration is
surpassed. Following this procedure for the entire base motion record
yields the total, accumulated displacement.
Computing permanent displacements
10
Influence of a
y
on permanent displacements
When soil slopes are considered, the yield acceleration is computed as a
function of the shear strength of the soil and the failure mechanism or slip
surface.

In a conventional Newmarks analysis, sliding is assumed to exhibit a rigid,
perfectly-plastic response implying a yield acceleration that does
not change with displacement.

Sliding block method predicts zero displacement if earthquake induced
accelerations do not exceed the yield acceleration.

Since the permanent displacements are obtained by double integration of
excess acceleration, the computed displacements for slope with low yield
acceleration will be greater than the displacements for slope with high
yield acceleration.

The relation between the slope displacements and a
y
/a
max
is investigated
by several researchers.
11
Computing permanent displacements
(
(

|
|
.
|

\
|
|
|
.
|

\
|
+ =
09 . 1
max
53 . 2
max
1 log 90 . 0 log
a
a
a
a
D
y y
where D is the predicted displacement (cm), a
y
is the yield acceleration
(g) and a
max
is the peak horizontal acceleration of the design
earthquake
Ambraseys and Menu (1988) found a simple relation to find out the
permanent displacement of the slope D as
12
Computing permanent displacements
Yegian et al. (1991)
13
Computing permanent displacements
546 . 1 642 . 6 log 460 . 1 log + =
y a
a I D
Jibson (1993)
Jibson (1993) proposed a simpler approach where the ground motion
record is represented by a single, quantitative measure of the
total shaking intensity. Using the Arias intensity (I
a
=[t/2g]a
2
dt) to
represent shaking intensity, and analyzing several strong motion
records, Jibson developed a relationship for displacements
predicted by a Newmark-type analysis.
where D is the predicted displacement (cm), I
a
is the Arias intensity
(m/s), and a
y
is the yield acceleration (g). Thus, displacements for a
given yield acceleration can be estimated directly from Arias intensity,
which can be estimated from other empirical attenuation equations.
14
Induced Deformations
For a rigid block, the accelerations are equal at all times to the ground
acceleration until the slip phase of motion; therefore, the acceleration-
time history of an earthquake motion in excess of the yield acceleration
may be directly integrated twice to obtain the relative displacement

Difficulty is selecting an appropriate accelerogram that simulates motions
in the slide mass and, more importantly, accounting for the deformable
nature of the soil embankment and waste fill materials

Materials that comprise most slopes are compliant rather than rigid,
especially waste fill materials
15
The applicability of Newmarks sliding block analysis to liquefaction
induced lateral spreading is inhibited by several shortcomings:

1. An obvious problem is defining an appropriate shear strength
for a liquefiable soil. In an approximate manner, this problem
can be addressed with undrained shear strengths, although this
approach requires special soil testing and is not applicable to all
soil conditions.

2. The lack of a well defined slip surface in a lateral spread
confounds the definition of a simple yield acceleration. In
reality, the "yield acceleration" in a lateral spread will change
dramatically with the occurrence of liquefaction and
subsequent deformations.

3. Lateral spreading can continue after earthquake motions stop
and a Newmark-type analysis is incapable of modeling these
deformations
Liquefaction Induced Deformations
16
Decoupled Procedures
The decoupled procedure was originally proposed by Makdisi & Seed in 1978, and
is typically used for more critical civil structures such as earth dams.
Decoupled methods can be thought of as a modified rigid-block analysis that
incorporate dynamic response in a two-step procedure (shown in figure)
where the dynamic response of the slope is analyzed separately from the sliding
response.
Unlike, rigid-block methods, here the slide mass is assumed to be responsive to
Step 1:
Dynamic-response analysis
Step 2:
Sliding-response analysis
17
Coupled Procedures
As opposed to the original Newmark (1965) rigid sliding block model, which ignores the
dynamic response of a deformable sliding mass, Makdisi and Seed (1978) introduced the
concept of an equivalent acceleration to represent the seismic loading of a potential
sliding mass.

The decoupled approximation results from the separate dynamic analysis that is
performed assuming that no relative displacement occurs along the failure plane and the
rigid sliding block calculation that is performed using the equivalent acceleration-time
history from the dynamic response analysis to calculate seismic displacement.

Dynamic response and the sliding response are analyzed as a single coupled behavior.

Elastic
Rigid Block
18
Coupled Procedures
Coupled procedures are at the opposite end of the spectrum from rigid-
block methods. These methods have evolved in parallel with advanced
numerical modeling techniques such as finite-elements.
These methods are theoretically more accurate from the modeling
standpoint in that the dynamic response of the slope and the sliding
response of the failure mass are modeled as a single, coupled behavior.
However, despite being a better representation of the true behavior,
these methods can be burdensome from a computational and modeling
standpoint.
Use of coupled procedures in practice is uncommon.
19
Example Problem
The slope shown in figure is intersected by two 15 cm thick seams of clay material.
The intact slope materials can be characterized by the parameters, c= 120 kPa. |= 0,
= 20.4 kN/m
3
. The clayey seams exhibit c = 36 kPa, |=0 and = 18.8 kN/m
3
. (i)
Compute the minimum static factor of safety for the slope. Compute the yield
acceleration.

8 m
8 m
8 m 8 m
8 m
8 m
20
Solution
Yield Acceleration:

Yield acceleration is the pseudostatic acceleration that corresponds to a factor of
safety of 1.0
Weight of the sliding mass W = *16*16*18.8 kN/m = 2406.4 kN/m
Angle of slope | = tan
-1
(16/32) = 26.6
Driving Force F
D
= W sin| + k
h
W cos|
Resisting Force F
R
= c l = 36*\(16
2
+32
2
) = 1288 kN/m
Pseudostatic factor of safety against sliding = F
R
/

F
D
= 1.0
F
D
= F
R

W sin| + k
h
W cos| = 1288 kN/m

On solving, k
h
= 0.0978

Yield acceleration a
y
= 0.0978 g

21
Exercise Problem
The slope shown in figure is characterized by the parameters, c= 20 kPa. |= 20, =
20 kN/m
3
. Compute the yield acceleration.

10 m
15 m
40
22
23
Kramer, S.L. (1996) Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering, Prentice Hall.
Day, R.W. (2001) Geotechnical Earthquake Engineering Handbook, McGraw-Hill.
Slope stability calculator: http://www.wise-uranium.org/cssth.html (Accessed
on 12 April 2012)
Newmark, N. M. (1965) Effects of earthquakes on dams and embankments.
Geotechnique, 15 (2) 139-160.
Leshchinsky, D., San, D. K.C. (1993) Pseudo-static slope stability analysis: design
charts ASCE Journal of Geotechnical Eng, 120 (9), 15141531.

References