Slope stability

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Slope stability

Slope stability is the potential of soil covered slopes to withstand and undergo movement. Stability is determined by the balance of shear stress and shear strength. A previously stable slope may be initially affected by preparatory factors, making the slope conditionally unstable. Triggering factors of a slope failure can be climatic events which can then make a slope unstable, leading to mass movements. Mass movements can be caused by increase in shear stress, such as loading, lateral pressure, and transient forces. Alternatively, shear strength may be decreased by weathering, changes in pore water pressure, and organic material. The field of slope stability encompasses static and dynamic stability of slopes of earth and rock-fill dams, slopes of other types of embankments, excavated slopes, and natural slopes in soil and soft rock.[1] Slope stability investigation, analysis (including modeling), and design mitigation is typically completed by geologists, engineering geologists, or geotechnical engineers. Geologists and engineering geologists can also use their knowledge of earth process and their ability to interpret surface geomorphology to determine relative slope stability based simply on site observations.


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Slope stability
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