Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering

, Volume 52, Issue 11, pp 4439–4455 | Cite as

Process Analysis of Toppling Failure on Anti-dip Rock Slopes Under Seismic Load in Southwest China

  • Yibing Ning
  • Guangcheng ZhangEmail author
  • Huiming Tang
  • Wenchao Shen
  • Peiwu Shen
Original Paper


Due to complex geological structures and strong crustal activity, geological disasters occur frequently in the upper reaches of the Yalong River, Southwest China. Toppling failure on anti-dip rock slopes is a common phenomenon; in particular, after the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008, numerous landslides caused by toppling deformation occurred in reservoir areas, seriously threatening the construction and operation of large-scale water conservancy projects and hydropower projects. Taking three typical toppling slopes in the basin as research objects, the dynamic behaviour, failure evolution, and failure plane location of toppling failure under seismic waves were investigated by shaking table tests and UDEC simulations. The test results indicated that slope angle and stratum dip angle were both inversely proportional to the stability of the slope in the tested ranges. The failure evolution of toppling on anti-dip rock slopes could be divided into four stages: (1) the development stage of tensile cracks in the strata; (2) the formative stage of tensile cracks at the crest of the slope; (3) the formative stage of toppling zones; and (4) the failure stage. Two equations were proposed to reveal the relationships between the surface peak ground acceleration and the horizontal depth of the failure plane and displacement of the slope surface. The propagation and coalescence of discontinuous cross joint in the slope and the entire failure evolution simulated by the UDEC damage model agreed well with the shaking table test results.


Seismic loading Anti-dip rock slope Toppling failure Dynamic behaviour Evolution 



This research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant no. 41877263), the National Key R&D Program of China (Grant no. 2017YFC1501305) and the Fundamental Research Funds for National University, China University of Geosciences (Wuhan).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yibing Ning
    • 1
  • Guangcheng Zhang
    • 1
    Email author
  • Huiming Tang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wenchao Shen
    • 1
  • Peiwu Shen
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of EngineeringChina University of Geosciences (Wuhan)WuhanChina
  2. 2.Three Gorges Research Center for GeohazardsMinistry of EducationWuhanChina

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