Limit equilibrium methods for slope stability analysis do not, in general, satisfy the overall equilibrium conditions; they must make assumptions regarding the inclination and location of the interslice forces. An alternative slope analysis based on the discrete element method is presented to avoid these drawbacks. A slope in the present model is treated as comprised of slices that are connected by elastoplastic Winkler springs. By considering the conditions of compatibility, stresses on the mobilized surface can be obtained that are statically admissible and consistent with the material strength. The formulation of the method is presented and followed by a comparison of the method with limit equilibrium methods. Examples are also shown that demonstrate the applicability of the method to the analysis of progressive failure involving local yield and subsequent stress redistribution.
In the limit equilibrium analysis of slope stability it is conjectured that the slope fails as a mass of soil sliding on a mobilized surface. The premise is that when a set of estimated stresses on the mobilized surface satisfies equilibrium conditions and is consistent with the strength of the material, this set of stresses provides an approximate solution that can be used for practical purposes to evaluate the overall factor of safety of the slope. In most conventional slope stability methods, the soil mass is divided into a number of slices. The stres on the mobilized surface is estimated by emplying the conditions of static equilibrium for each slice. However, the problem is indeterminate, and the conditions of static equilibrium are not sufficient for determining the stress on the mobilized surface. As a result, it is necessary to solve the problem by either neglecting part of the equilibrium conditions or by making assuptions as to the locatio nand inclination of interslice forces. For example, the ordinary method of … Chuang 1