We examine the stability of an ancient slope located at Jietai Temple in western Beijing of China, by using the remote monitoring system of sliding force combined with the combined finite-discrete element method (FDEM) as well as the field surveys. Potential pre-existing joints in the slope were firstly determined by the in situ study and rock mass mechanical properties were then estimated to be taken as input parameters in the numerical modelling, for understanding the instability mechanism of the slope. Results from this synthetic assessment together with the monitoring data suggest that current protection measures in the slope may not be sufficient so that the local authorities should define hazard zones and work out further development plans for the Jietai temple.

1. Introduction

Limit equilibrium method and numerical modelling techniques are the most commonly used methods in the evaluation of slope stability. To complex rock and soil slopes, numerical approaches such as finite element and finite difference methods may be more suitable due to their flexibility when applied to simulate in situ stresses, loading condition, and multi-field interactions. Even though numerical modelling of rock slopes is commonly implemented by continuum approaches [1–4], features such as fracture, fragmentation, and crack propagation within rock mass extended to a computer code is very much appreciated to better describe the unstable process characteristics of rock slopes. The underlying geological data including fault, joint, foliated structure, and underground water table are required to be as the input parameters in the model to determine and calibrate the mechanical properties of rock masses in the numerical modelling of rock slopes. These in situ data together with monitoring information can further help to improve numerical modelling for providing the more reasonable prediction of the failure behaviours of rock slopes [5–7].

In the present report, we examine the stability of an ancient slope located at Jietai temple in western Beijing of China (Fig. 1) by using the field investigation, the monitoring technologies, and the combined finite-discrete element method (FDEM) [8]. Our work aims to help local authorities to define potential hazard zones of the region where Jietai temple locates and develop available plans for the reinforcement and early warning systems of the slope stability.

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