ROCK MECHANICS AND SLOPE STABILITY B
Learning outcomes of the course unit
1°- Knowledge and understanding
At the end of the lessons the student will know the basic principles for classification and characterization of rock masses, the different methods to be adopted for the slope stability analysis (for both rock and soil), the main reinforcement techniques for unstable slopes. He will understand the technical-scientific terminology in the field.
2°- Applying knowledge and understanding
The student will be able to carry out a slope stability analysis (either for rock or soil) through classical methods, by using a specific numerical code. The student will be also able to give suggestions for possible reinforcement works.
3°- Making judgments
The student will acquire the ability to interpret both field and laboratory geotechnical data and to model a real problem, in order to find the technically sound design solutions.
4°- Communication skills
On passing the exam, the student should have acquired sufficient proper use of the language with regard to the topic specific terminology. The student will be able to write a report dealing with the stability analysis of a typical slope.
5°- Learning skills
The student should have acquired the basic knowledge of the discipline that will allow him to choose the appropriate methods to tackle a case-study independently.
The good knowledge of the fundamental of Geotechnics is strongly recommended.
Course contents summary
The course aims to form the fundamental principles of rock mechanics, by giving complementary topics in respect to those given during the Geotechnics course, in order to solve problems regarding Geotechnical Engineering, with a particular reference to environmental problems, such as slope stability.
Geotechnical investigations and definition of soil strength parameters. Definition of the geotechnical model. Natural and artificial soil slopes.
A short account of classification systems for landslides.
Slope stability analysis. Methods for the evaluation of the safety factor for a slope. Safety factor of a clay slope. Limit equilibrium methods. General formulation of the method of strips. Methods of fellenius, Bishop, Janbu, Morgestern & Price. Comparison between different methods of analysis. Use of the numerical code SLIDE (Rocscience). Italian regulations about slope stability analysis. Slope stability analysis in seismic conditions and pseudo-static method. Analysis of water pressure conditions in natural slopes. Water down-flow in natural and artificial slopes. Application of Finite Element Method to solve water-flow problems: case study of a river embankment. Application of FEM methods in slope stability analysis.
Rainfall-induced shallow landslides. Different approaches to study the triggering mechanism. Time-varying safety factor of a slope in reference with rainfall pattern. Analysis of some case histories. Multi-scale slope stability analysis: from the slope scale to the regional scale. Example of weather built-in platforms for the protection of the natural environment.
Investigations and reinforcement methods for landslides.
General reinforcement works. New profiling of the slope. Gravity draining works. Reinforcement through structural elements such as cantilever walls, anchors, piles. Examples of case studies.
Basic principles of rock mechanics. Stresses, strains and typical behaviour of materials. Methods of description of rock masses and joints. Field investigations on rock masses. Laboratory tests on massive rock and joints. Geotechnical characterization of a rock mass.
Stability analysis of both natural and artificial rock slopes. Planar rock slide and sliding along joint intersections. Rock fall and topple. Limit equilibrium methods for rock slopes.
The role of monitoring systems in the prevention of risk for complex and deep landslides.
Examples of monitoring systems of active or quiescent landslides.
Airò Farulla C. Analisi di stabilità dei pendii. Hevelius Edizioni
M. Barla. Elementi di meccanica e Ingegneria delle rocce. Ed. Celid
The course consists of a series of lectures and numerical exercises in a computer lab.
The lessons are carried out using presentations in Power Point. A copy of the presentations used is available on the Elly platform from the beginning of the course. The teaching material on Elly is however updated weekly by the teacher. The course slides on Elly are considered an integral part of the reference bibliography.
The exercises are presented in the classroom and carried out numerically.
Assessment methods and criteria
The verification of the preparation consists of a practical test and an oral interview.
The practical test consists of the preparation of a report concerning the stability analysis of a typical slope and the planning of possible consolidation works. The report is a summary of the laboratory exercises carried out during the course.
In the oral interview, the student must present the contents of the report and demonstrate that he or she has a thorough knowledge of the topics covered in the course lessons.
In the oral interview the student will have to answer theoretical questions, also concerning the application of theory to original problems.
In the evaluation of the tests the different components of learning will be weighted as follows: 40% for the ability to analyze a real problem (competence), 30% for the 'identification of the most convenient procedure of solution (autonomy of judgment), 30% for the ability to exposure specialist (communicative ability).
The final grade, including the above components, is expressed globally in thirtieths and is proposed to the student at the end of the oral interview.
Attending class lessons is strongly recommended.