Mountainous regions of India experience recurrent slope failures due to rapid urbanization. The main causes of slope failure are high precipitation aided by unplanned construction of cut slopes. Such slope failures are further aggravated because of the presence of low strength, highly jointed, stratified rocks rich in clay minerals. In general, effect of weathering is more pronounced in these rocks, which causes long-term time-dependent deterioration of the rocks as well as joint strength. In this regard, the present investigation deals with the causes, behavior, and mechanism of slope failure by examining a section in the North Eastern Himalayas. A detailed field investigation was carried out for examining the existing condition of slope, slope material, and joint parameters. Laboratory experiments like compressive and tensile strength tests along and across the lamination planes along with slake durability index tests were conducted to characterize the material and investigate the role of weathering in strength degradation. Later, numerical simulation was performed employing distinct element method to investigate the failure behavior, mechanism, and also the effect of water pressure in destabilizing the slope. The experimental result indicates directional strength variations parallel and perpendicular to bedding plane, which makes the rock incompetent to sustain external load. The presence of orthogonal joint sets accelerates the process of block detachment. Significant slaking was observed which further deteriorates and fragments the rock at deeper level. Numerical simulation shows that failure plane is dominantly planar (along the bedding parallel joints) and surficial.
Landslides – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 24, 2016
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