Risorse bibliografiche
Risorsa bibliografica obbligatoria
Risorsa bibliografica facoltativa
Scheda Riassuntiva
Anno Accademico 2019/2020
Scuola Scuola di Ingegneria Civile, Ambientale e Territoriale
Insegnamento 051629 - SLOPE STABILITY [I.C.]
  • 051628 - SLOPE STABILITY [1ST MOD]
Docente Sterpi Donatella Valeria
Cfu 5.00 Tipo insegnamento Modulo Di Corso Strutturato

Corso di Studi Codice Piano di Studio preventivamente approvato Da (compreso) A (escluso) Insegnamento

Obiettivi dell'insegnamento

The first module Slope Stability moves from the basics of soil and rock mechanics to introduce the students to the analysis of slope engineering problems, from the mechanisms that induce landslides to the stability analysis of natural and engineered slopes, in soil and rock masses, under static and dynamic conditions. The course is completed with the integrated module on analysis and design of works for prevention and protection (prof. C. Di Prisco).

Risultati di apprendimento attesi

Using the categories introduced by the Dublin Descriptors (DDs), after following the lectures, the student will be able:

  • To understand the basic principles of soil and rock mechanics that govern the slope stability under various external actions (DD #1);
  • To describe a site surveying plan for the ground mass characterization and for the monitoring of slope movements, understanding the final purpose of the field observations (DD #1);

The working classes are critical applications of concepts discussed during lectures for simple problems solving. After following the working classes, the student will be able:

  • To make appropriate choices for the identification of the most relevant mechanical properties of soils, rocks and rock joints from the interpretation of laboratory tests (DDs 2&3);
  • To solve simple problems of stability analysis in soil and rock slopes, starting with the correct modelling assumptions about the slope kinematics and the mechanical properties (DDs 2&3).


Argomenti trattati

1. Brief recall of fundamentals of soil mechanics: effective stress concept, constitutive behaviour and laboratory test interpretation, seepage, earth pressure theory.

2.  Introduction to rock mechanics: interpretation of laboratory tests for deformability, shear strength and rheological behaviour of the intact rock, rock mass behaviour and role of the discontinuities, shear strength of joints under monotonic and cyclic loading, rock mass mechanical properties, quality indexes and classifications.

3. Site investigation on soil and rock masses: assessment of mechanical and hydraulic properties and of the site stress state. Displacement measurements and slope monitoring.

4. Basic concepts for slope stability: rigid block sliding on an inclined surface, block toppling. Safety factor definition, influence of pore water pressures, effects of reinforcements, seismic action.

5. Ground mass movements: identification of landslides in natural and engineered slopes (embankments and surface excavations), soil and rock slope stability analysis (limit equilibrium method and method of slices, 2D / 3D failure mechanisms).

6. Stability related topics: progressive failure, peak and residual conditions, time dependence and variation of the safety factor, sensitivity analysis, earthquake effects.

7. Lessons learnt from case histories: Malpasset dam failure, Vajont slide, Sau Mau Ping slope analysis, Stava tailing dams failure.



A preliminary review of the fundamentals in mechanics of solids and soils is strongly advised:

- stress and strain tensors and Mohr circle representation; concepts of equilibrium and strain compatibility; concepts of constitutive modelling: linear elastic model, strength criteria and plasticity.

- Terzaghi effective stress principle and geostatic stress state; consolidation of fine soils; deformability and strength of soils in drained and undrained conditions, laboratory direct shear and triaxial tests; lateral earth pressure theory.

Modalità di valutazione

The assessment of the student’s knowledge is determined on the basis of a written test and an oral examination.

In the written test the student will be asked:

  • To solve problems of parameter identification from the results of field or laboratory tests;
  • To solve simple problems of stability analysis of soil and rock slopes;
  • To provide correct and clear definitions of the processes and main factors of influence that govern the ground mass stability.

In the oral examination, the student will be asked:

  • To address issues risen in the written test, and to show their personal ability in a consistent and in-depth discussion on the relevant topic.

The final grade of the module (5cfu) is determined from the results of both written and oral parts. The final grade of the Course (10 cfu) is determined as the average between the grades of the two modules.

Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaSimons N., Menzies B., Matthews M., A short course in soil and rock slope engineering, Editore: Thomas Telford, Anno edizione: 2001

Available as e-book Pollitecnico

Risorsa bibliografica facoltativaHudson J.A., Harrison J.P., Engineering rock mechanics: an introduction to the principles, Editore: Pergamon, Anno edizione: 1997

Software utilizzato
Nessun software richiesto

Forme didattiche
Tipo Forma Didattica Ore di attività svolte in aula
Ore di studio autonome
Laboratorio Informatico
Laboratorio Sperimentale
Laboratorio Di Progetto
Totale 50:00 75:00

Informazioni in lingua inglese a supporto dell'internazionalizzazione
Insegnamento erogato in lingua Inglese
Disponibilità di materiale didattico/slides in lingua inglese
Disponibilità di libri di testo/bibliografia in lingua inglese
Possibilità di sostenere l'esame in lingua inglese
Disponibilità di supporto didattico in lingua inglese

Note Docente
Teacher's notes and exercises will be uploaded on Beep web site Additional readings might be suggested during lectures
schedaincarico v. 1.6.9 / 1.6.9
Area Servizi ICT