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A New Criterion for Defining Inhomogeneous Slope Failure Using the Strength Reduction Method

Chengya Hua1, Leihua Yao1,*, Chenguang Song1, Qihang Ni1, Dongfang Chen2

1 School of Engineering and Technology, China University of Geosciences, Beijing, 100083, China
2 Center for Hydrogeology and Environmental Geology, China Geological Survey, Tianjin, 300309, China

* Corresponding Author: Leihua Yao. Email:

Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences 2022, 132(2), 413-434.


A new variational method treating the system as a whole with rigorous mathematical and physical derivation was presented in this paper. Combined with classical and engineering examples, variational energy expressions of slopes were derived. In addition, the calculation programs were written in the FISH language set in FLAC3D (fast Lagrangian analysis of continua in three dimensions) software. Factors of safety (FOSs) of the models were determined by the variational method based on the strength reduction method (SRM) and then compared with other criteria or methods. The result showed that the variational method reflected the process of slope plasticity and failure uniformly and was feasible to analyze the stability of inhomogeneous slopes. The method was applicable to both two-dimensional and three-dimensional heterogeneous slopes. The small error with other criteria or methods also showed the accuracy of this method. This method unified other criteria, avoided the artificial error of other criteria, and provided a logical derivation for the instability of heterogeneous slope. This method considered the system as a whole and avoided the shortcomings of the general method of one-sided instability analysis. The proposed method is of great significance as it considers the coupling effect of stress and strain of materials and gives the mechanical basis for the instability of complex slopes.


Cite This Article

Hua, C., Yao, L., Song, C., Ni, Q., Chen, D. (2022). A New Criterion for Defining Inhomogeneous Slope Failure Using the Strength Reduction Method. CMES-Computer Modeling in Engineering & Sciences, 132(2), 413–434.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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