Soil-atmosphere interaction in unsaturated cut slopes
Imperial College London, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, SW7 2AZ, London, UK
a Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Interaction between atmosphere and soil has only recently attracted significant interest. Soil-atmosphere interaction takes place under dynamic climatic conditions, which vary throughout the year and are expected to suffer considerable alterations due to climate change. However, Geotechnical Analysis has traditionally been limited to simplistic approaches, where winter and summer pore water pressure profiles are prescribed. Geotechnical Structures, such as cut slopes, are known to be prone to large irreversible displacements under the combined effect of water uptake by a complex vegetation root system and precipitation. If such processes take place in an unsaturated material the complexity of the problem renders the use of numerical analysis essential. In this paper soil-atmosphere interaction in cut slopes is studied using advanced, fully coupled partially saturated finite element analyses. The effect of rainfall and evapotranspiration is modelled through sophisticated boundary conditions, applying actual meteorological data on a monthly basis. Stages of low and high water demand vegetation are considered for a period of several years, before simulating the effect of vegetation removal. The analysis results are presented with regard to the serviceability and stability of the cut slope.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2016
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