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Slope Stability Analysis and Stabilization

1.4 CEUs | Thursday–Friday, September 29–30


Stanley M. Miller, Ph.D., P.E.

Roch Player, P.E., D.GE

Purpose and Background

Slope instability and landslides account for millions of dollars of damage, primarily due to aging slopes constructed for major transportation systems in the U.S. during the 1950s and 1960s and the ever-increasing need to develop land on steep natural slopes and fills. Slopes often consist of heterogeneous native or transported earth materials and, thus, engineering characteristics are variable and difficult to estimate precisely. This variability is compounded by intermittent influence of surface water runoff and groundwater infiltration that often trigger landslide movements. This seminar focuses on three main topics relevant to slope stability analysis and stabilization:

  • Sampling, testing, and estimating geotechnical material properties (soil and rock)
  • Identifying potential slope failure modes and analyzing them with computer methods
  • Designing and implementing slope stabilization methods

Seminar Benefits

  • Exposure to geotechnical data acquisition, analysis, and characterization
  • Review of analytical computer methods for soil and rock slope evaluation
  • Introduction to probabilistic and risk assessment tools for slopes
  • Exposure to slope stabilization evaluation and design, with multiple case studies
  • Introduction to stabilization project management and contract documents

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this seminar, you will be able to:

  • Explain fundamental geotechnical testing and analysis methods for characterizing soil and rock properties input to slope stability analysis methods
  • List basic geotechnical tools used in rock slope engineering and identify the three key steps in a rock slope stability analysis
  • Explain commonly used slope stability analysis methods and how to apply specific ones to help select and design stabilization options
  • Explain the variability and uncertainty in estimating geotechnical characteristics, and apply methods to quantify that during slope stability risk evaluations
  • Explain slope stabilization options and understand how these projects are designed, bid, contracted, and implemented

Assessment of Learning Outcomes

Achievement of the learning outcomes will be assessed through a series of problem-solving exercises.

Who Should Attend?

This is a course for professionals seeking a more quantitative analysis of slope stability and relevant slope stabilization methods. Best suited for civil engineers, consultants, engineering geologists, soil scientists, city and public works officials, city planners, and other design professionals who address construction related slope stability and stabilization issues.

Seminar Outline

Day one

  • Soil and rock sampling and testing
  • Site reconnaissance for problem slopes; what makes a good RFP for slope remediation
  • Rock mass characteristics and strength
  • Overview of slope stability analysis methods
  • Shallow and deep-seated stabilization options

Day two

  • Using back-analysis to help confirm strength and groundwater estimates
  • Budgeting and bidding stabilization projects
  • Introduction to probabilistic and risk assessments for slopes
  • Slope stabilization case studies
  • Tips for project report writing, management, and contracting

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