cod. 1005242

Academic year 2014/15
1° year of course - Second semester
Academic discipline
Geotecnica (ICAR/07)
"ingegneria per l'ambiente e territorio"
Type of training activity
63 hours
of face-to-face activities
9 credits
course unit
in - - -

Learning objectives

1°- Knowledge and understanding
At the end of the lessons the student will know the basic principles for classification and characterization of rock masses, the different methods to be adopted for the slope stability analysis (for both rock and soil), the main reinforcement techniques for unstable slopes. He will understand the technical-scientific terminology in the field.

2°- Applying knowledge and understanding
The student will be able to carry out a slope stability analysis (either for rock or soil) through classical methods, by using a specific numerical code. The student will be also able to give suggestions for possible reinforcement works.

3°- Making judgments
The student will acquire the ability to interpret both field and laboratory geotechnical data and to model a real problem, in order to find the technically sound design solutions.

4°- Communication skills
On passing the exam, the student should have acquired sufficient proper use of the language with regard to the topic specific terminology. The student will be able to write a report dealing with the stability analysis of a typical slope.

5°- Learning skills
The student should have acquired the basic knowledge of the discipline that will allow him to choose the appropriate methods to tackle a case-study independently.


The good knowledge of the fundamental of Geotechnics is strongly recommended.

Course unit content

The course aims to form the fundamental principles of rock mechanics, by giving complementary topics in respect to those given during the Geotechnics course, in order to solve problems regarding Geotechnical Engineering, with a particular reference to environmental problems, such as slope stability.

Detailed Program
Natural and artificial soil slopes.
A short account of classification systems for landslides. Analysis of water pressure conditions in natural slopes. Water down-flow in natural and artificial slopes. Application of Finite Element Method to solve water-flow problems: case study of the experimental Po River embankment at Viadana (MN)
Earth flowslides.
Slope stability analysis. Methods for the evaluation of the safety factor for a slope. Safety factor of a clay slope. Limit equilibrium methods. General formulation of the method of strips. Methods of fellenius, Bishop, Janbu, Morgestern & Price. Comparison between different methods of analysis. Use of the numerical code SLIDE (Rocscience). Italian regulations about slope stability analysis.
Rainfall-induced shallow landslides. Different approaches to study the triggering mechanism. Hypothesis of infinite slope. Time-varying safety factor of a slope in reference with rainfall pattern. Analysis of some case histories. The physically-based model SLIP. Multi-scale slope stability analysis: from the slope scale to the regional scale. Example of weather built-in platforms for the protection of the natural environment.
Investigations and reinforcement methods for landslides.
Geotechnical investigations and definition of soil strength parameters. Definition of the geotechnical model. General reinforcement works. New profiling of the slope. Gravity draining works. Reinforcement through structural elements such as cantilever walls, anchors, piles. Examples of case studies.
Basic principles of rock mechanics. Stresses, strains and typical behaviour of materials. Methods of description of rock masses and joints. Field investigations on rock masses. Laboratory tests on massive rock and joints. Geotechnical characterization of a rock mass.
Stability analysis of both natural and artificial rock slopes. Planar rock slide and sliding along joint intersections. Rock fall and topple. Limit equilibrium methods for rock slopes.
The role of monitoring systems in the prevention of risk for complex and deep landslides.
Examples of monitoring systems of active or quiescent landslides.

Full programme

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Recommended books:
Airò Farulla C. Analisi di stabilità dei pendii. Hevelius Edizioni
M. Barla. Elementi di meccanica e Ingegneria delle rocce. Ed. Celid
Lancellotta. Geotecnica. Zanichelli ed.

Teaching methods

theoretical lessons and exercises.
Laboratory exercises and problems deal with the topics treated during the theory lessons.

Assessment methods and criteria

The examination consists in an oral test.

Other information

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