Rainfall-Induced Soil Slope Failure: Stability Analysis and Probabilistic Assessment, 1st Edition (e-Book) book cover

Rainfall-Induced Soil Slope Failure

Stability Analysis and Probabilistic Assessment, 1st Edition

By Lulu Zhang, Jinhui Li, Xu Li, Jie Zhang, Hong Zhu

CRC Press

374 pages | 20 Color Illus. | 293 B/W Illus.

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Rainfall-induced landslides are common around the world. With global climate change, their frequency is increasing and the consequences are becoming greater. Previous studies assess them mostly from the perspective of a single discipline—correlating landslides with rainstorms, geomorphology and hydrology in order to establish a threshold prediction value for rainfall-induced landslides; analyzing the slope’s stability using a geomechanical approach; or assessing the risk from field records.

Rainfall Induced Soil Slope Failure: Stability Analysis and Probabilistic Assessment integrates probabilistic approaches with the geotechnical modeling of slope failures under rainfall conditions with unsaturated soil. It covers theoretical models of rainfall infiltration and stability analysis, reliability analysis based on coupled hydro-mechanical modelling, stability of slopes with cracks, gravels and spatial heterogenous soils, and probabilistic model calibration based on measurement. It focuses on the uncertainties involved with rainfall-induced landslides and presents state-of-the art techniques and methods which characterize the uncertainties and quantify the probabilities and risk of rainfall-induced landslide hazards.

Additionally, the authors cover:

  • The failure mechanisms of rainfall-induced slope failure
  • Commonly used infiltration and stability methods
  • The infiltration and stability of natural soil slopes with cracks and colluvium materials
  • Stability evaluation methods based on probabilistic approaches
  • The effect of spatial variability on unsaturated soil slopes and more


"The authors are to be commended for bringing together the many components related to rainfall induced landslides. I foresee that this book will be well-received by practicing engineers and researchers, and I believe that the book will form a reference book that is in demand in university libraries. I am sure that the book will be in demand and meet an important need."

—Delwyn G. Fredlund, Professor Emeritus, University of Saskatchewan, Canada

"This book concisely presents the fundamental mechanics behind rain-induced soil slope failures: rainfall infiltration in soil slopes, slope stability under rainfall infiltration, and hydro-mechanical coupled deformation. The concepts and analyses are presented clearly from the first principle with a strong physical sense. Some advanced topics, such as hydro-mechanical coupled numerical analysis in unsaturated soils, are approached in a plain manner with hand-on tutorials. The analysis of the stability of slopes with cracks is an excellent addition—practitioners are aware of the vital importance of cracks but few have the knowhow to quantify cracks and their effects. The book is therefore an excellent text for graduate students and a good reference for geologists and engineers."

—Limin Zhang, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

"The book is an important contribution to unsaturated soil mechanics and slope stability analysis… The authors present state-of-the art techniques in analysis and provide an exhaustive bibliography."

--Wei Wu, Acta Geotechnica

Table of Contents


Slope Failures under Rainfall and Failure Mechanisms

Recent Advances and Hot Research Topics

Outline of the Book


Infiltration and Seepage Analysis in Soil Slopes


Estimation of Infiltration Rate Based on Conceptual Model

Seepage Analysis in Unsaturated Soil Slopes Based on Physical Governing Equation

Analytical Solutions of the Richards Equation

Numerical Analysis of the Richards Equation

Typical Pore-Water Pressure Profiles under Rainfall Condition

Soil Conditions under Which Matric Suction Can Be Maintained


Stability Analysis of Slope Under Rainfall Infiltration Based on Limit Equilibrium


Infinite-Slope Stability Analysis Based on 1D Infiltration Profile

Slope Stability Analysis Based on Limit Equilibrium Methods

Controlling Factors for Rainfall-Induced Landslides

Spatially Distributed Model of Hazard Assessment of Rainfall-Induced Landslides


Coupled Hydromechanical Analysis for Unsaturated Soil Slope


Modeling of Unsaturated Soil Based on Continuity Mechanics

Slope Stability Analysis Based on Coupled Modeling

Illustrative Examples


Stability of Soil Slope with Cracks


Prediction of Unsaturated Hydraulic Functions of Cracked Soil


Stability of Soil Slope with Cracks


Stability Analysis of Colluvium Slopes upon a Rainstorm


Hydraulic Properties of Colluvial Soils

Shear Strength of Colluvial Soils

An Example


Reliability Analysis of Slope under Rainfall


Fundamental Concept of Reliability

Reliability Methods and Applications on Slope Stability

Uncertainties of Soil Properties

Effects of Uncertainty of Hydraulic Properties on Infiltration and Slope Stability

Reliability Analysis of Rainfall-Induced Slope Failure: An Example of the Sau Mau Ping Landslide

Quantitative Risk Assessment of Landslide and Risk Acceptance Criteria


Probabilistic Assessment of Random Heterogeneous Soil Slopes

Spatial Variability of Soils

Random Field Theory

Modeling of Random Field

Seepage and Stability of a Random Heterogeneous Slope under Rainfall Infiltration


Probabilistic Model Calibration


Probabilistic Model Calibration within Bayesian Framework

Markov Chain Monte Carlo Simulation Method

Procedures for Probabilistic Model Calibration and Prediction

Example 1: A Cut Slope Failure

Example 2: Lai Ping Road Landslide

Example 3: An Instrumented Site of Natural Terrain in Hong Kong


About the Authors

Lulu Zhang Lulu is a professor at Shanghai Jiaotong University, China.

Jinhui Li is an associate professor at Harbin Institute of Technology, China.

Xu Li is an associate professor at Beijing Jiaotong University, China.

Jie Zhang is an associate professor at Tongji University, China.

Hong Zhu is a research assistant at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Environmental / General