Preliminary analysis of rainfall-induced slope failures using the material point method

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Rainfall-induced slope failures are a major cause of slope failure, with incidents likely to increase with the predicted escalation of extreme rainfall events. Traditional numerical methods such as the Finite Element Method (FEM) are often restricted in their applicability to small deformation analyses. Therefore, an incomplete description of the failure mechanism is given, in which the failure consequences, or evolving deformations and progressive failures, are ignored. A one-point, two-phase Material Point Method (MPM) formulation is proposed to consider the influence of rainfall on slope failure. Due to the characteristics of MPM in capturing the large deformations, a complete failure process, from initiation to failure, of a slope subjected to rainfall infiltration is presented. The soil behaviour is described by a Mohr– Coulomb strain softening model based on Bishop’s stress. A retrogressive failure mode with an initial shallow instability is observed during the slope failure. In contrast with a comparative total stress analysis, i.e. without consideration of pore pressures, the two-phase analysis shows that the rainfall-affected slope is initially stable, until the suction stresses are reduced leading to a superficial failure mode, which in turn leads to a complete slope failure.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLandslides and Engineered Slopes
Subtitle of host publicationExperience, Theory and Practice: Proceedings of the 12th International Symposium on Landslides (Napoli, Italy, 12-19 June 2016)
EditorsStefano Aversa, Leonardo Cascini, Luciano Picarelli, Claudio Scavia
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4987-8807-6
ISBN (Print)978-1-138-02988-0
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event 12th International Symposium on Landslides - Napoli, Italy
Duration: 12 Jun 201619 Jun 2016


Conference 12th International Symposium on Landslides


Dive into the research topics of 'Preliminary analysis of rainfall-induced slope failures using the material point method'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this