A centrifuge study of geotextile-reinforced slopes was performed to identify the failure mechanisms and to verify the ability of limit equilibrium methods to predict failure. The variables considered in the study were reinforcement spacing, reinforcement tensile strength, and soil strength. Analyses of model slopes built with the same backfill gave a single normalized Reinforcement Tension Summation, which can be interpreted as the earth pressure coefficient that depends only on soil strength and slope inclination. Failure of the model slopes was observed to initiate at midheight, contradicting current design assumptions that failure should develop from the toe of the reinforced slopes. Consequently, a reinforcement force distribution with depth is proposed for reinforced soil slopes under working stresses, which is consistent with the experimental observations and which leads to an approximately uniform distribution with depth at the moment of failure. An important contribution to the stability of the models was provided by the overlapping geotextile layers, which failed by breakage instead of pullout when intersected by the failure surface. The suitability of limit equilibrium methods for the analysis of geotextile-reinforced slopes was evaluated by comparing the centrifuge test results with theoretical predictions. A rigorous limit equilibrium method that assumes circular failure surfaces was used to evaluate the effect of different modeling assumptions on the calculated factors of safety by performing a parametric study of variables relevant to the stability of the models. Very good agreement was obtained between the limit equilibrium predictions and the experimental results.

  • Supplemental Notes:
    • Published April 1995; revised December 1995. This is Volume 2 of 3 presenting results of the research project entitled: Evaluation of Properties of Decomposed Granite and Analysis of Performance of High Embankments of Decomposed Granite.
  • Corporate Authors:

    University of California, Berkeley

    Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
    Davis Hall
    Berkeley, CA  United States  94720-1710

    California Department of Transportation

    Division of New Technology, Materials and Research, 5900 Folsom Boulevard
    Sacramento, CA  United States  95819

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Authors:
    • Zornberg, J G
    • Sitar, N
    • Mitchell, J K
  • Publication Date: 1995-12


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures; Photos; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 185 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00720137
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: FHWA/CA/TL-96-02, Rept 65-323-652014, UCB/GT/95-01
  • Contract Numbers: RTA-65T128, F92TL04C
  • Created Date: Apr 11 1996 12:00AM