Natural Hazards

, Volume 86, Issue 3, pp 1081–1104 | Cite as

Cut slope stability assessment along ghat road section of Kolli hills, India

Original Paper


In the present study, cut slope stability assessment along ghat road section of Kolli hills was carried out by using various geotechnical parameters of rock and soil slope sections and structural kinematics of major discontinuities is presented. The rock slope (RS) stability assessment was carried out using Rock Mass Rating basic (RMRbasic) and Slope Mass Rating (SMR) classification systems. The type of failure and their Factor of Safety (FOS) for individual RS was calculated using Hoek and Bray method. In the case of soil slopes (SS), the FOS was calculated using Circular Failure Chart (CFC) and Limit Equilibrium (LE) methods. The input data for the slope stability analyses were collected through extensive field work followed by stereonet plotting and laboratory test. There are six rock slope sections, and five soil slope sections were taken into consideration for the cut slope stability analyses. The area depicts class II (RS-1, 2, & 6) and class III (RS-3, 4, & 5) of RMR classes. The SMR result depicts for RS-1, RS-2, and RS-6 are 64.40, 60.02, and 60.70, respectively, and falls in class II stable condition. The SMR values of RS-3 and RS-5 were 44.33 and 57, respectively, and come under the class III partially stable condition. The RS-4 with SMR value of 17.33 falls under the class I completely unstable condition. The FOS of planar failure case indicates that RS-3 (FOS = 0.22) is more unstable, while all other sections are having greater than 1 FOS. The calculated FOS values using CFC method reveals that the FOS is very close to 1 for all the SS sections that fall under completely saturated condition which indicates that these slope sections may fail during heavy rainfall. In LE method, the sections SS-3 and SS-4 are unsafe under partially and completely saturated (natural slope) condition. In average slope condition, all the SS sections are unsafe under partially or completely saturated conditions. The facets 2, 3, 4, and 5 required mitigation measures, to improve the stability of slopes. Site-specific mitigation measures were suggested for partially or completely unstable rock and soil cut slopes.


Cut slope stability Rock mass rating (RMR) Slope mass rating (SMR) Factor of safety (FOS) Circular failure chart (CFC) Limit equilibrium (LE) method Kolli hills 



The authors acknowledge the Natural Resources Data Management System (NRDMS), Department of Science and Technology, New Delhi, for the financial support. The authors also thank State Highways and Horticulture departments for providing landslide event and rainfall data. We sincerely thank the anonymous reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions, which helped us to improve the quality of the manuscript.


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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for GeoinformaticsJamsetji Tata School of Disaster Studies (JTSDS), Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS)MumbaiIndia
  2. 2.Centre for Geoinformatics and Planetary Studies (CGIPS), Department of GeologyPeriyar UniversitySalemIndia
  3. 3.School of Civil EngineeringSASTRA UniversityTanjoreIndia

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