Civil Engineering Services: The Importance of Conducting Slope Stability Assessments

25 October 2021

Not all construction sites are done on flat surfaces. Sometimes, contractors have to deal with project sites that are situated in sloped areas. And when dealing with these areas, they usually must conduct additional activities before proceeding with the core construction processes.

Contractors must understand the nature and condition of the sloped areas so they can assess and come up with the best ways of constructing the needed structures as well as enhancing the pathways of utilities. Moreover, they have to ensure that the sloped areas are stable enough to handle the activities required for the said projects. When verifying the stability of the sloped areas, contractors should contact professionals who can conduct slope stability assessments.

Key Factors Affecting the Stability of the Slopes

The stability of the sloped areas could be heavily affected by the movement of the ground. Without any tests, the true condition of these areas might not be determined effectively. Once structures are constructed, they might easily get deteriorated once the ground moves again. The movement of the ground can occur naturally. However, the ground can also move due to increased loading or lateral pressure caused by the construction of a structure or building.

Aside from the ground movement, the stability of the sloped areas can also be affected by weathering and pore water pressure changes.

The Importance of Slope Stability Assessments

To ensure that the slopes are still stable despite the occurrence of the previously mentioned factors, professionals must be hired to conduct slope stability assessments.

Slope stability assessments are tests that are conducted to verify the safety and stability of slopes. Whether they are natural or human-made, testing the stability of the sloped areas like road cuts, excavations, landfills, and embankments can ensure that they can effectively withstand elements responsible for potential failure or total collapse of structures or buildings.

Some tests that are needed to check the stability of the slopes involve the assessment of the slope design, particularly its geological formation, site characterisation, slope geometry, and groundwater conditions. Other tests would likewise assess potential failure mechanisms of the slopes so they can come up with sustainable solutions that can make these areas stable for their respective projects.

Stabilisation Techniques to Make Slopes Safe

Civil engineers have a wide array of solutions to make slopes safe and stable. Some of their techniques are anchor blocking, soil nailing, gabions, and micropile slide stabilisation systems. Anchor blocking entails the placement of blocks across the slope so they can prevent the ground from moving. Soil nailing, on the other hand, utilises steel nails to stabilise the slope and its accompanying structure or building.

Gabions are solid walls that can rehabilitate the slopes so they can be stabilised temporarily or permanently. Micropile slide stabilisation system, ultimately, maximises anchors, concrete beams, and micro piles to sustain slope stability. Contractors would often install concrete beams into the ground before drilling micro piles into them at different angles.

To know more about slope stability assessments, you can call us at Fairdinkum Technical Services.

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