A simple mechanical model for rockslide and avalanche investigations in the form of an ordinary second order differential equation describing the motion of the mass center of a "slide" has been derived from basic physical principles. The basic model is rigorous; no empirical assumptions have been introduced. However, the resultant of external forces must be known in some detail before investigation of slide phenomena can proceed. In this regard, reasonable assumptions are possible because the precise distribution of body forces in the slide mass and tractions on the potential slide surface are not required, nor are constitutive assumptions needed because the description of the mass center motion is independent of the assumption of deformability. Indeed, disintegration of the slide mass or not is of no unanswerable consequence for the model. Of particular interest is the quantitative analysis of rockslide and avalanche "triggering" under conditions that previously represented stability. Finally, the basic model of a rock mass as an assemblage of individual bodies shows, at least in principle, that the often-heard objection to the application of continuum mechanics to rock is not well founded despite the numerous practical difficulties encountered in rock mechanics and engineering practice.(a)

  • Availability:
  • Corporate Authors:


    Radarweg 29
    Amsterdam,   Netherlands  1043 NX
  • Authors:
  • Publication Date: 1980-7

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: p. 111-123
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00322807
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: Transport Research Laboratory
  • Files: ITRD, TRIS
  • Created Date: Dec 30 1980 12:00AM