75544 - Slope Stability

Course Unit Page

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The aim of the course is to provide students with theoretical and practical knowledge on the identification, characterization, and analyis of landslide phenomena. Specific goals are:

- recognize the morphological features of the different landslide types in the field and using airphoto analysis

- map the main features of a landslide taking into account of the pecauliar kinematic evolution

- plan a geognostic campaign to aimed to characterize a landslide

- create a geotechnical model of the slope

- evaluate the stability conditions using the limit equilibrium method

- design of remedial works for hazard mitigation

Particular attention will be devoted on landslides in complex geological materials such as overconsolidated fissured clays, flysch, and weakly cemented soils.

Course contents

The following topics will be covered during the course:

1. Fundamentals of soil and rock meachnics (effective stress, shear strenght, drainage conditions)

2. Mobilised strength od complex geological media (OC clays, flysch, weakly cemented soils)

3. Landslides classification

4. Kinematics, morphological features, mapping, and typical evolution of the different types of landslide

5. Slope stability analysis using the limit equilibrium method

6. Rockfall analysis and runout prediction

The course includes lectures, ase studies, and practical training sessions on slope stability computation. Several field trip will be organised to typcal landslide spot in the Emilia-Romagna Apennines.


Abramson L.W., Lee T.S., Sharma S., Boyce G.M (1996) “Slope stability and stabilization methods” John Wiley and Sons Inc., 629 pp.

Cruden, D. M., Varnes, D. J. (1996) “Landslide types and processes” In: Landslides Investigation and Mitigation, A. K. Turner and R. L. Schuster, eds.: National Research Council, Transportation Research Board, Special Report 247, p. 36-75.

Teaching methods

Classes will be held in the classroom and in the computer lab, where students will train on slope statbility analysis. Several lessons will be conducted with the aid of optical equipment for aerial-photograph analysis. Portable GPS and taditional survey instruments (compass, altimeter) will be used during field trips.

Assessment methods

Assessment consists of an oral examination aimed at probing the student's understanding of (in order of relevance):

1. Mechanical behaviour and properties of soil and rock

2. Landslides classification, features, and analysis

3. Consolidation and monitoring techniques

Office hours

See the website of Matteo Berti