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Role of apparent cohesion in the stability of Dominican allophane soil slopes

Rao, Sudhakar M (1996) Role of apparent cohesion in the stability of Dominican allophane soil slopes. In: Engineering Geology, 43 (04). pp. 265-279.

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Abstract

This study examines the effect of loss of apparent cohesion from rainwater infiltration upon the stability of partly saturated, allophanic soil slopes of Dominica (West Indies). The parent material of the Dominican allophanic soils are the andesitic and dacitic volcanic rocks from ten volcanic centres of mainly Pleistocene age. Although simplifying assumptions are made to assess the depth of wetting front and magnitudes of true and apparent cohesion values of the partly saturated allophanic soils, certain inferences of practical significance emerge from the study. Matric suction contributes to the effective stress of unsaturated soils and increases the shear strength of these soils by imparting them an apparent cohesion strength component. This apparent cohesion strength component of the partly saturated Dominican allophanic soils is considered to be related to the matric suction term (u(a)-u(w)) by a parabolic relationship. The partly saturated allophanic soil slopes of Dominica would invariably fail from loss of apparent cohesion upon saturation of the soil mantle by the infiltrating water front only if (a) the average slope angle (beta) is greater than or equal to the drained shear strength parameter of the unsaturated soil (phi(d)) (slopes with beta greater than or equal to phi(d) are referred to as category 1 slopes in this study) and (b) the drained cohesion parameter (c(d)) belonging to the partly saturated soil of the category 1 slope is mainly contributed by matric suction induced apparent cohesion (c(app)) and contribution from true cohesion (c') is absent. However, the possibility of the category 1 slopes (for the case 1 situation) failing in the saturated condition from effective stress reduction due to rise in ground water table is shown to be an unfeasible proposition. In contrast, for the case 1 situation, the partly saturated category 2 slopes (beta<phi(d)) are insusceptible to failure from reduction in effective stress due to loss of matric suction but fail in the saturated condition from effective stress reduction due to rise in ground water table. If the allophanic soils were to possess a sufficient magnitude of true cohesion (c'), even the partly saturated category 1 slopes possessing slope angles (beta) much in excess of their phi(d) values (beta-phi(d) = 15.1 degrees) would remain stable upon total elimination of the matric suction induced cohesion. However, partly saturated category 1 slopes possessing a true cohesion component and insusceptible to failure from reduction in effective stress upon loss of matric suction, invariably fail in the saturated condition from reduction in effective stress due to rise in ground water table. Using the methodology developed in this study, two previously reported case histories pertaining to rain induced translational landslides in the residual soil areas of Brazil are re-examined and the results obtained in this study are found to be in agreement with the findings of the previous researchers.

Item Type: Journal Article
Additional Information: Copyright of this article belongs to Elsevier science.
Department/Centre: Division of Mechanical Sciences > Civil Engineering
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2009 06:34
Last Modified: 19 Sep 2010 05:26
URI: http://eprints.iisc.ernet.in/id/eprint/18968

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