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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 12, Number 3, March 2017 , pages 483-503

Spatial variability analysis of soil strength to slope stability assessment
Mara Lombardi, Monica Cardarilli and Giuseppe Raspa

    Uncertainty is a fact belonging to engineering practice. An important uncertainty that sets geotechnical engineering is the variability associated with the properties of soils or, more precisely, the characterization of soil profiles. The reason is due largely to the complex and varied natural processes associated with the formation of soil. Spatial variability analysis for the study of the stability of natural slopes, complementing conventional analyses, is able to incorporate these uncertainties. In this paper the characterization is performed in back-analysis for a case of landslide occurred to verify afterwards the presence of the conditions of shear strength at failure. This approach may support designers to make more accurate estimates regarding slope failure responding, more consciously, to the legislation dispositions about slope stability evaluation and future design. By applying different kriging techniques used for spatial analysis it has been possible to perform a 3D-slope reconstruction. The predictive analysis and the areal mapping of the soil mechanical characteristics would support the definition of priority interventions in the zones characterized by more critical values as well as slope potential instability. This tool of analysis aims to support decision-making by directing project planning through the efficient allocation of available resources.
Key Words
    soil uncertainty; spatial variability; shear strength; kriging; slope stability
(1) Mara Lombardi:
Department of Chemical Materials Environment Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome, Safety Engineering, via Eudossiana 18 - Rome, Italy;
(2) Monica Cardarilli, Giuseppe Raspa:
Department of Chemical Materials Environment Engineering, Sapienza University of Rome, via Eudossiana 18 - Rome, Italy.

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