Soil nailed slope by strength reduction and limit equilibrium methods

W. B. Wei, Yung Ming Cheng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

84 Citations (Scopus)


A detailed study of nailed slopes under different conditions is reported in this paper. No major difference is found in terms of safety and slip surfaces between the strength reduction method (SRM) and the limit equilibrium method (LEM) in general cases. Appreciable differences between the SRM and LEM appear, however, if the nail load is controlled by the overburden stress. Some special slip surfaces from the SRM obtained by using a very fine mesh are discussed. Field tests demonstrated that the nail head is important in determining the failure mode and the factor of safety of a nailed slope, while the effect of the nail elastic modulus is more noticeable only when the slope is very steep. The optimum layout of the soil nail was found to be longer at bottom and shorter at the top, which is contrary to some engineers' guidelines for soil nail design during top-down construction. The distribution of tensional force along the soil nail is influenced by the state of the slope (service state, limit state) and the failure modes (external failure, internal failure). In general, the line of maximum tension may not correspond to the critical slip surface as commonly believed, except for the case where the failure mode is an internal tensile failure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)602-618
Number of pages17
JournalComputers and Geotechnics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2010


  • Slip surface
  • Slope stability
  • Soil nail
  • Strength reduction method
  • Three-dimensional

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Computer Science Applications


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