Degradation Processes in Civil Engineering Slopes in Soft Rocks

  • Predrag MiščevićEmail author
  • Nataša Štambuk Cvitanović
  • Goran Vlastelica


Surface degradation processes and landslides are quite frequent on slopes excavated or naturally formed in soft rock formations. Such slopes are susceptible to rapid weathering because, within several months to several years, that is, within the engineering period of time, the rock deterioration process starts both on the slope surface and within the inside of the rock mass. The weathering of soft rocks has been studied with the intention to clarify the process. However, the relationship between the weathering and the landslides or rockfalls is still not well understood. When dealing with soft rock weathering, it is very important to recognize that weathering of soft rock occurs in the engineering time scale, when freshly excavated rock is exposed to weathering factors. The stability of slopes cut in soft rocks should not be considered only from the standpoint of material strength immediately after the excavation, or only from the aspect of position of bedding joints and other joints with respect to the cut slope position. For that purpose, change in the shear strength due to the degradation has been discussed in the chapter. This analysis includes the factor of time in which the strength of this material will be reduced through weathering, but the factor of weathering depth should also be taken into account. This in fact defines the issue of durability of slopes cut in soft rocks. Since the processes of weathering and erosion occur simultaneously, their combination will cause further decomposition of any soft rock mass on the face of the cut, with additional relieving effect of rock mass through the redistribution stresses. The relative ratio of erosion and weathering has a significant impact on the development of the slope surface of cuts. With that aim, slope degradation models are discussed in the chapter, in addition to methods of soft rock slopes monitoring.


Marl Weathering Slope stability Slope durability Degradation model 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Predrag Miščević
    • 1
    Email author
  • Nataša Štambuk Cvitanović
    • 1
  • Goran Vlastelica
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture and GeodesyUniversity of SplitSplitCroatia

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