Water, Vol. 15, Pages 1956: Dynamic Response Law and Failure Mechanism of Slope with Weak Interlayer under Combined Action of Reservoir Water and Seismic Force

Water, Vol. 15, Pages 1956: Dynamic Response Law and Failure Mechanism of Slope with Weak Interlayer under Combined Action of Reservoir Water and Seismic Force

Water doi: 10.3390/w15101956

Authors:
Wenpeng Ning
Hua Tang

The southwestern region of China is close to the Eurasian earthquake zone. Many engineering areas in southwestern China are affected by earthquakes and are close to the epicenter of earthquakes that occur in this region. During earthquakes, slopes with weak interlayers are more likely to cause large-scale landslides. In response to the low stability of slopes with weak interlayers in reservoir dam areas, the dynamic response law and failure mechanism of weak interlayered slopes under the combined action of reservoir water and seismic forces were studied through shaking table model tests and finite element numerical simulation software. The height of the water level and the size of the seismic waves were changed during these tests. The research results indicate that seismic waves are influenced by weak interlayers and are repeatedly superimposed between the weak interlayers and the slope surface, resulting in an acceleration amplification effect that increases by approximately 1.8 times compared to homogeneous slopes. Vertical earthquakes have a significant impact on the dynamic response of slopes, and their peak acceleration amplification coefficient can reach 0.83 times the horizontal peak acceleration. The stability of weak interlayers during earthquakes is the worst within the range of the direct action of reservoir water. The failure mode of a slope is as follows: earthquake action causes cracking in the upper part of the slope, and as the earthquake increases in intensity, and the infiltration of reservoir water intensifies, the cracks expand. The soft and muddy interlayer in the front section of the slope forms a sliding surface, and ultimately, the sliding failure forms an accumulation body at the foot of the slope. In reservoir dam areas, the stability of a slope is closely related to the engineering safety of the reservoir dam. Therefore, when a strong earthquake and the water level in a reservoir jointly affect a weak-interlayer slope, the slope is in the stage of plastic deformation and instability. The stability of the slope may be overestimated, and the slope is likely vulnerable to sliding instability, which needs to be monitored and treated.

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