Assessment of rock slope stability with the effects of weathering and excavation by comparing deterministic methods and slope stability probability classification (SSPC)


ENVIRONMENTAL EARTH SCIENCES, vol.77, no.14, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 77 Issue: 14
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s12665-018-7728-4
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Keywords: Probabilistic approach, Rock strength, Slope stability, SSPC, Weathering, FINITE-ELEMENT-ANALYSIS, LIMIT EQUILIBRIUM, HAZARD, RELIABILITY, STRENGTH
  • Middle East Technical University Affiliated: Yes


Cut slopes are prone to fail due to the disturbance on original geometry and strength. In addition, because of these disturbances and stress relief, natural apertures which increase the weathering effects widen in engineering time. Owing to these reasons, slope stability assessment has a prominent role on these road cuts. Generally, slope stabilities are assessed by deterministic approaches with a significant engineering judgment. Because of this reason the reputation of probabilistic approaches is increasing. In this study, 20 road cuts located in North West Black Sea region of Turkey were evaluated using slope stability probability classification (SSPC). Considering this probabilistic approach, rock strength parameters and failure mechanisms were determined. Furthermore, slope mass rating (SMR) classification was applied for each road cut in order to compare with the results obtained from SSPC. These overall results were then evaluated with the field observations considering rockslope deterioration assessment (RDA) and Falling Rock Hazard Index (FRHI) for the disturbed/weathered zones, and failure mechanisms. According to these, SSPC is found to be more accurate for surficial degradations (raveling and fall) using samples taken from the disturbed/weathered zones rather than using relatively fresh samples beyond the disturbed zone. Moreover, despite strength differences between weathered and relatively fresh zones, SMR classification is identified to reveal the same stable probabilities. It is found that SSPC shows more detailed probabilistic results than SMR. Lastly, rockfall and raveling mechanisms determined by RDA and rockfall risk by FRHI were found to be coherent with SSPC and field observations.