The paper presents a three-dimensional slope stability limit equilibrium solution for translational, planar failure modes. The proposed solution uses Bishop’s average skeleton stress combined with the Mohr – Coulomb failure criterion to describe soil strength evolution under unsaturated conditions while its formulation ensures a natural and smooth transition from the unsaturated to the saturated regime and vice versa. The proposed analytical solution is evaluated by comparing its predictions with the results of the Ruedlingen slope failure experiment. The comparison suggests that despite its relative simplicity the analytical solution can capture well the experimentally observed behaviour and highlights the importance of lateral resistance consideration together with a realistic interplay between mechanical parameters (cohesion) and hydraulic (pore water pressure) conditions.
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- unsaturated slope
- Ruedlingen field experiment
- lateral resistance
- limit equilibrium solution