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Open AccessArticle

An Approach to Assess the Stability of Unsaturated Multilayered Coastal-Embankment Slope during Rainfall Infiltration

1
Faculty of Architectural Civil Engineering and Environment, Ningbo University, Ningbo 315211, China
2
Geotechnical Engineering Institute of Hunan University, Changsha 410082, China
3
State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
4
College of Harbor, Coastal and Offshore Engineering, Hohai University, Nanjing 210098, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2019, 7(6), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/jmse7060165
Received: 5 May 2019 / Revised: 22 May 2019 / Accepted: 23 May 2019 / Published: 29 May 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Coastal Geohazard and Offshore Geotechnics)
This study aims to develop a simple but effective approach to investigate the stability of an unsaturated and multilayered coastal-embankment slope during the rainfall, in which a Random Search Algorithm (RSA) based on the random sampling idea of the Monte Carlo method was employed to obtain the most dangerous circular sliding surface, whereas the safety factor of the unsaturated slope was calculated by the modified Morgenstern–Price method. Firstly, two typical distributions of matric suction were illustrated and the associated methods for determining the strength parameters of unsaturated soil were developed. Based on this, the Morgenstern–Price method was further modified to calculate the safety factor, and RSA was adopted to locate the most dangerous sliding surface of the unsaturated multilayered coastal-embankment slope. Finally, the slope breaking process under rainfall infiltration was simulated through continuously searching the critical slip surfaces under different groundwater levels by RSA. The results indicated that the stability of the unsaturated embankment slope was gradually deteriorated with the increase of rainfall infiltration. It was also found that both of the distributions of the matrix suction (ua-uw) and the suction angle (φb) had significant effects on the safety factor of the embankment slope. Basically, linear distribution of (ua-uw) along the depth and linear relationship between φb and (ua-uw) should be adopted in assessing the stability of the unsaturated multilayered coastal-embankment slope. View Full-Text
Keywords: coastal-embankment slope; stability; unsaturated soil; multilayered; matric suction; random searching algorithm; rainfall infiltration coastal-embankment slope; stability; unsaturated soil; multilayered; matric suction; random searching algorithm; rainfall infiltration
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhu, J.-F.; Chen, C.-F.; Zhao, H.-Y. An Approach to Assess the Stability of Unsaturated Multilayered Coastal-Embankment Slope during Rainfall Infiltration. J. Mar. Sci. Eng. 2019, 7, 165.

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