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Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(10), 1008; doi:10.3390/app7101008

An Analytical Solution for Block Toppling Failure of Rock Slopes during an Earthquake

Key Laboratory of Shale Gas and Geoengineering, Institute of Geology and Geophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100029, China
College of Earth Science, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
School of Engineering and Technology, China University of Geosciences (Beijing), Beijing 100083, China
Chengdu Engineering Corporation Limited, Power China, Chengdu 610072, China
School of Civil Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, Athens 15773, Greece
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 August 2017 / Revised: 9 September 2017 / Accepted: 20 September 2017 / Published: 29 September 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Mechanical Engineering)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2376 KB, uploaded 29 September 2017]   |  


Toppling failure is one of the most common failure types in the field. It always occurs in rock masses containing a group of dominant discontinuities dipping into the slope. Post-earthquake investigation has shown that many toppling rock slope failures have occurred during earthquakes. In this study, an analytical solution is presented on the basis of limit equilibrium analysis. The acceleration of seismic load as well as joint persistence within the block base, were considered in the analysis. The method was then applied into a shake table test of an anti-dip layered slope model. As predicted from the analytical method, blocks topple or slide from slope crest to toe progressively and the factor of safety decreases as the inputting acceleration increases. The results perfectly duplicate the deformation features and stability condition of the physical model under the shake table test. It is shown that the presented method is more universal than the original one and can be adopted to evaluate the stability of the slope with potential toppling failure under seismic loads. View Full-Text
Keywords: earthquake; block toppling; analytical solution; slope stability; limit equilibrium method earthquake; block toppling; analytical solution; slope stability; limit equilibrium method

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Guo, S.; Qi, S.; Yang, G.; Zhang, S.; Saroglou, C. An Analytical Solution for Block Toppling Failure of Rock Slopes during an Earthquake. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 1008.

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