Influence of excavation schemes on slope stability: A DEM study

Abstract

Slope failure due to improper excavation is one of common engineering disasters in China. To explore the failure mechanism of soil slope induced by toe excavation, especially to investigate the influence of excavation unloading path and rate on slope stability, a numerical slope model was built via particle flow code PFC2D. The development of crack and strain during excavation were obtained and used to evaluate the deformation characteristics. Furthermore, excavation types representing different unloading paths and rates were compared in terms of crack number and strain level. Results indicate that crack number and strain level induced by horizontal column excavation are much greater than those of vertical column excavation and oblique excavation. The crack number and strain level increase with excavation unloading rate. Besides, the feasibility of taking the average strain of slope surface and the average value of maximum strain along monitoring lines to represent the global deformation characteristics were discussed. This study can provide a theoretical guidance for slope monitoring and preliminary optimal selection of excavation scheme in the design and construction of slope engineering.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the General Financial Grant from the Natural Science Foundation of Chongqing, China (cstc2018jcyjAX0632), the Chongqing Postdoctoral Science Foundation (cstc2019jcyj-bshX0032) and the Chongqing Engineering Research Center of Disaster Prevention & Control for Banks and Structures in Three Gorges Reservoir Area (Nos. SXAPGC18ZD01 and SXAPGC18YB03).

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Correspondence to Wen-gang Zhang.

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Wang, Z., Gu, D. & Zhang, W. Influence of excavation schemes on slope stability: A DEM study. J. Mt. Sci. 17, 1509–1522 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11629-019-5605-6

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Keywords

  • Slope toe excavation
  • Unloading path
  • Unloading rate
  • Strain distribution
  • Slope stability
  • Discrete element method