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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 16, Number 6, December30 2018, pages 655-667

Probabilistic stability analysis of rock slopes with cracks
J.Q. Zhu and X.L. Yang

    To evaluate the stability of a rock slope with one pre-exiting vertical crack, this paper performs corresponding probabilistic stability analysis. The existence of cracks is generally ignored in traditional deterministic stability analysis. However, they are widely found in either cohesive soil or rock slopes. The influence of one pre-exiting vertical crack on a rock slope is considered in this study. The safety factor, which is usually adopted to quantity the stability of slopes, is derived through the deterministic computation based on the strength reduction technique. The generalized Hoek-Brown (HB) failure criterion is adopted to characterize the failure of rock masses. Considering high nonlinearity of the limit state function as using nonlinear HB criterion, the multivariate adaptive regression splines (MARS) is used to accurately approximate the implicit limit state function of a rock slope. Then the MARS is integrated with Monte Carlo simulation to implement reliability analysis, and the influences of distribution types, level of uncertainty, and constants on the probability density functions and failure probability are discussed. It is found that distribution types of random variables have little influence on reliability results. The reliability results are affected by a combination of the uncertainty level and the constants. Finally, a reliability-based design figure is provided to evaluate the safety factor of a slope required for a target failure probability.
Key Words
    rock slope; crack; probabilistic analysis; Hoek-Brown criterion; multivariate adaptive regression splines; response surface method
J.Q. Zhu: Department of Civil and Architecture Engineering, Changzhou Institute of Technology, Jiangsu, China

X.L. Yang: chool of Civil Engineering, Central South University, Changsha, 410075, China

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