Newmark sliding block model for predicting the seismic performance of vegetated slopes

T. Liang, J. A. Knappett (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
299 Downloads (Pure)


This paper presents a simplified procedure for predicting the seismic slip of a vegetated slope. This is important for more precise estimation of the hazard associated with seismic landslip of naturally vegetated slopes, and also 6 as a design tool for determining performance improvement when planting is to be used as a protective measure. The analysis procedure consists of two main components. Firstly, Discontinuity Layout Optimisation (DLO) 8 analysis is used to determine the critical seismic slope failure mechanism and estimate the corresponding yield acceleration of a given slope. In DLO analysis, a modified rigid perfectly plastic (Mohr–Coulomb) model is employed to approximate small permanent deformations which may accrue in non-associative materials when subjected to ground motions with relatively low peak ground acceleration. The contribution of the vegetation to enhancing the yield acceleration is obtained via subtraction of the fallow slope yield acceleration. The second stage of the analysis incorporates the vegetation contribution to the slope’s yield acceleration from DLO into 14 modified limit equilibrium equations to further account for the geometric hardening of the slope under increasing soil movement. Thereby, the method can predict the permanent settlement at the crest of the slope via a slip-dependent Newmark sliding block approach. This procedure is validated against a series of centrifuge tests to be highly effective for both fallow and vegetated slopes and is subsequently used to provide further insights into the stabilising mechanisms controlling the seismic behaviour of vegetated slopes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-40
Number of pages14
JournalSoil Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering
Early online date26 Jul 2017
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017


  • Analytical modelling
  • Centrifuge modelling
  • Dynamics
  • Earthquakes
  • Sand
  • Slopes
  • Vegetation
  • Ecological Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Newmark sliding block model for predicting the seismic performance of vegetated slopes'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this