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Geomechanics and Engineering
  Volume 5, Number 5, October 2013 , pages 485-497

Factor of safety in limit analysis of slopes
Antoni Florkiewicz and Albert Kubzdela

    The factor of safety is the most common measure of the safety margin for slopes. When the traditionally defined factor is used in kinematic approach of limit analysis, calculations can become elaborate, and iterative methods have to be used. To avoid this inconvenience, the safety factor was defined in terms of the work rates that are part of the work balance equation used in limit analysis. It was demonstrated for two simple slopes that the safety factors calculated according to the new definition fall close to those calculated using the traditional definition. Statistical analysis was carried out to find out whether, given normal distribution of the strength parameters, the distribution of the safety factor can be approximated with a well-defined probability density function. Knowing this function would make it convenient to calculate the probability of failure. The results indicated that the normal distribution could be used for low internal friction angle (up to about 16
Key Words
    slope stability analysis; factor of safety
1) Antoni Florkiewicz and Albert Kubzdela: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Poznan University of Technology, Piotrowo 5, 60-965 Poznan, Poland.

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