Evaluation of rock slope stability for yujian river dam site by kinematic and block theory analyses

P. H.S.W. Kulatilake, Liangqing Wang, Huiming Tang, Ye Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Lithological information, rock mass fracture data and discontinuity shear strength obtained through field investigations have been used to conduct kinematic and block theory analyses for the rock slopes that exist in the dam site to evaluate the stability of the slopes. The analyses were performed using mean discontinuity set orientations for each rock mass region under gravitational loading to calculate the maximum safe slope angles (MSSA) for different cut slope directions. Results show that final MSSAs obtained from kinematic analysis are less than or equal to that obtained from block theory analysis. The following conclusions have been made based on the block theory analysis results, which are closer to the reality: (1) The final MSSA range between 30° and 47°, 44° and 70°, 47° and 69° for cut slope dip directions of 20-30°, 105-210°, and 270-355°, respectively; (2) For cut slope dip directions of 20-30°, 200-210° and 275-315°, wide ranges of values have been obtained for the final MSSA reflecting the influence of variability of fracture orientations on MSSA; (3) Apart from the region R-d-1 for slope dip directions in the range 20-30°, rest of the regions at the dam site seem to be stable for slope angles less than 40°. Detailed comparisons are given between the kinematic and block theory analyses covering both the theoretical concepts and application results. Also a brief comparison is included between the laboratory and in situ discontinuity shear strength results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)846-860
Number of pages15
JournalComputers and Geotechnics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Sep 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Block theory analysis
  • Dam site
  • Discontinuity shear strength
  • Kinematic analysis
  • Rock discontinuities
  • Rock slope stability
  • Yujian river

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Computer Science Applications


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