Location of critical three-dimensional non-spherical failure surface by NURBS functions and ellipsoid with applications to highway slopes

Yung Ming Cheng, H. T. Liu, W. B. Wei, S. K. Au

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


At present, location of critical three-dimensional failure surfaces is mainly limited to spherical shape due to the various difficulties in performing global optimization for general non-spherical failure surface. Non-spherical failure surface is however the most general and critical shape that should be considered in slope stability analysis. This paper introduces a practical way in using NURBS surface and ellipsoidal surface to simulate a three-dimensional sliding surface. Numerical examples have indicated that the present proposal is effective in application and the critical failure surfaces as determined for 2 specially designed problems are also reasonable. The authors have also applied the optimization search to a curved highway slope and have obtained the relation between curvature of slope and the minimum factors of safety of slope.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)387-399
Number of pages13
JournalComputers and Geotechnics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2005


  • Limit equilibrium
  • NURBS surface
  • Slope
  • Stability analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Computer Science Applications

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