Understanding the mechanism of slope failure on a nearby highway tunnel route by different slope stability analysis methods: a case from NE Turkey


BULLETIN OF ENGINEERING GEOLOGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT, vol.75, no.3, pp.945-958, 2016 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 75 Issue: 3
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s10064-015-0770-5
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.945-958
  • Keywords: Slope stability, Mass movement, Numerical analysis, Support design, LANDSLIDE SUSCEPTIBILITY, GIS, ARDESEN, RIZE, EXCAVATABILITY
  • Karadeniz Technical University Affiliated: Yes


The Arakli tunnel is located in the eastern Black Sea region where the most mass movement is observed in Turkey. Following the tunnel entrance portal excavations in basaltic tuffs on nearby the Konakonu residential area, an impending failure occurred. Because of the developed tension cracks and deformations on the ground, five houses and their gardens were damaged completely. The present study aims to investigate the mechanism of the failure. In order to do this, kinematic, limit equilibrium, and numerical stability analyses were carried out. Firstly, the kinematic analyses were performed taking into account the main joint sets for the slopes. The results of the kinematic analyses showed that planar and wedge failures were possible on the portal slope and no failure occurred on the cut slope. However, the limit equilibrium analysis showed that neither the planar nor wedge failures were expected to occur on the portal slope. The numerical stability analyses were performed to determine if circular failure is to occur in the slopes. The Phase 2 programme was used in the numerical analyses, and the Strength Reduction Factors (SRF) of the slopes were determined. According to the numerical stability analyses, the failure mode for the portal slope is composite starting with a circular surface and following a linear surface and circular for the cut slope. The stability analyses indicated that the failure mechanism was not directly controlled by the joints and might be related to the low strength parameters of the rock mass and joints. Finally, precautions were determined to make the region stable using the Phase 2 programme. After support installation, the SRF values for the portal and cut slopes increased from 1.21 to 1.63 and from 1.32 to 1.71, respectively. These results showed that the proposed support units prevent the effects of failure and were essential for the long-term stability.