The Tangba high slope is mainly composed of coarse soils and supplies core wall materials for the construction of the Changheba dam. Since the filling intensity of the Changheba dam is high, the Tangba high slope suffers from a high-intensity excavation process, and reinforcement measures are usually not implemented immediately. Moreover, the distribution of useful materials is uneven and insufficient, and the mixing of different soil materials is necessary; thus, multiple simultaneous excavations and secondary excavation are inevitable. In the construction period from 2012 to 2016, large deformations occurred in this area, and one of the largest monitored horizontal deformations whose direction points to the opposite side of the valley even reached more than 8000 mm. According to field investigation, site monitoring and theoretical analysis, the large deformation in the Tangba high slope can be divided into two phases. In the first phase, the excavation construction breaks the original stress equilibrium state; in the second phase, the precipitation infiltration accelerates the deformation. Thus, the excavation construction and precipitation infiltration are the two major factors promoting the deformation, and the high-intensity and complex excavation process is the fundamental cause. Notably, rate of slope deformation significantly accelerated in rainy seasons due to precipitation infiltration; the rate also accelerated in early 2016 due to the high-intensity, complex excavation process. Comprehensively considering the above factors, timely and effective reinforcement measures are essential.
Coarse soil slope Large deformation High-intensity and complex excavation Failure mechanism Reinforcement measures
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We gratefully acknowledge the support of the National Key R&D Program of China (2017YFC1501102), the Youth Science and Technology Fund of Sichuan Province (2016JQ0011) and the Key Project of the Power Construction Corporation of China (ZDZX-5). Critical comments by the anonymous reviewers greatly improved the initial manuscript.
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