This paper presents a numerical modeling of progressive failure in rock slope using the distinct element analysis. The rock slope is represented by a packing of circular elements whose mechanical properties are obtained by synthetic specimen analysis. The stability and progressive failure process in the slope are simulated based on the gravity increased procedure while keeping the properties of the slope constant. Numerical results are shown focusing on the dependency of the allowable slope height and possible failure modes on the packing arrangement of circular element and the strength of the bonded material at contact points between elements. The results indicate that the numerical modeling of rock slope is capable of capturing of the mechanism of slope failure and has the potential for application in the real range analysis of slope stability.
The slope stability analysis is an important issue in the field related to rock mechanics as well as soil mechanics. Many methods have been developed based on theoretical and numerical approaches. In general, the slope stability analysis is composed of two stages; the first is to calculate the safety factor along a specific surface and the second is to find the surface associated with the minimum value of the safety factor. Conventional methods based on the limit equilibrium concept, in which the forces acting on the surface is assumed to be in a critical state, have been widely used. Indeed, the persistence of the planes may be limited and a complex interaction between preexisting flaw, stress concentration and resulting crack generation is required to bring the slope to failure (Einstein et al. 1983). There must be a progressive mechanism of failure development eventually leading to the fully persistence. The failure development has been difficult to quantify even in homogenous soil slope.