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Numerical modelling of climate effects on slope stability

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Mohamed Rouainia, Owen Davies, Professor Stephanie Glendinning


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This paper reviews a method of accurately predicting changes in pore water pressure within a slope as a response to a given climate. Observations are made on the importance of correctly determining the hydraulic parameters and correctly assessing local climate conditions. The mechanical response of the slope to pore water pressure changes is modelled and it is shown how closely deformation magnitude and rate relates to climate. A diagnostic railway embankment is subjected to a simulated future climate scenario in which rain events are of higher intensity but are less persistent and average temperatures increase significantly. These climate changes are shown to reduce infiltration and increase evaporation, resulting in negative pore water pressures persisting throughout the winter months and providing improved stability.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Rouainia M, Davies O, O'Brien T, Glendinning S

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Engineering Sustainability

Year: 2009

Volume: 162

Issue: 2

Pages: 81-89

ISSN (print): 1478-4629

ISSN (electronic): 1751-7680

Publisher: Thomas Telford Publishing


DOI: 10.1680/ensu.2009.162.2.81


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Funder referenceFunder name
Newcastle University
Railway Safety and Standards Board
GR/S18328/01Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
GR/S18335/01Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
GR/S87430/01Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council