Progresses in understanding, analysis and control of rock slope movements have been the result of interdisciplinary efforts involving engineering geologists and rock engineers. In addition to rock engineering methodologies, the input from engineering geology is absolutely a fundamental to any rock slope design. This paper aims to emphasize the importance of harmonizing engineering geology with rock engineering on stability of rock slopes. Main engineering geological factors featured in the design and construction of rock slopes, role of engineering geological model and their combination with the stability analysis methods used in rock slope engineering are briefly discussed with their advantages and limitations, and finally current and near future needs related to stability of rock slopes are also described.
The construction, design, remediation and maintenance of rock slopes have always been an important area of geo-engineering. Particularly, in the last two decades, increasing demand for ultra deep open pits and large civil engineering constructions in rocks such as expressways, highways, railways and dams, and the effects of earthquake-triggered slope failures on settlements located in mountainous regions resulted in more attention to be paid to rock slope stability. Progresses in understanding, analysis and control of rock slope movements have been the result of interdisciplinary efforts mainly involving engineering geologists and rock engineers.
IAEG states that engineering geology is the discipline of applying geologic data, techniques and principles to the study of rock and soil materials, surface and subsurface fluids, and interactions of introduced materials and processes with the environment so that geologic factors are adequately recognized, interpreted and presented for use in engineering and related practice (Keaton 2010). The engineering geologist, as a predictor, translates the scientific facts, observed or measured, into engineering data to identify areas of significant physical constraint that will adversely affect the design, construction and maintenance of any intended engineering project (Mathewson 1981) (Figure 1).