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Numerical Analysis of the Effects of Crack Characteristics on the Stress and Deformation of Unsaturated Soil Slopes

State Key Laboratory of Hydraulics and Mountain River Engineering, College of Water Resource and Hydropower, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610065, China
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Water 2020, 12(1), 194; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12010194
Received: 23 October 2019 / Revised: 14 December 2019 / Accepted: 7 January 2020 / Published: 10 January 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Hydraulics)
Cracks induced by evaporation or rainfall have a great influence on the stability of unsaturated soil slopes, which can lead to landslides during the rainfall process. In order to study the effect of crack characteristics on the evolution of stress and deformation of unsaturated soil slopes, a series of numerical analyses under different conditions were performed using a coupled elastoplastic finite element program that we developed for unsaturated soil. When carrying out the numerical analyses, the effective stress for unsaturated soil proposed by Bishop and an elastoplastic double-hardening constitutive model for the soil skeleton were employed. The varying parameters, including the crack location, the discharge speed, evaporation rate, infiltration rate, and tensile strength, were investigated to study the coupling process of pore water pressure and deformation in the process of evaporation and rainfall infiltration. The numerical results showed that the minimum pore water pressure of the soil slope at the end of evaporation/rainfall decreased gradually and the crack width increased gradually as the crack set closer to the slope; the larger the discharge speed of pore air, the greater the crack width. With the increase in the evaporation rate, the pore water pressure of the soil slope reduced and the crack initiated earlier and became wider. As the infiltration rate increased, the pore water pressure of the soil slope and the crack width increased, but the decreasing duration became shorter. The change of tensile strength had little effect on the pore water pressure, but the development of the crack width changed with evaporation and rainfall infiltration. View Full-Text
Keywords: crack characteristics; unsaturated soil slopes; numerical analysis; rainfall infiltration crack characteristics; unsaturated soil slopes; numerical analysis; rainfall infiltration
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Yang, L.; Liu, E. Numerical Analysis of the Effects of Crack Characteristics on the Stress and Deformation of Unsaturated Soil Slopes. Water 2020, 12, 194.

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