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Slope Stability Analysis Tools for Stream Bank Stabilization

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  2010 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, June 20 - June 23, 2010  1008704.(doi:10.13031/2013.29709)
Authors:   Benjamin C Doerge
Keywords:   Slope stability, stream bank stabilization, infinite slope analysis, seepage, rock riprap, rapid drawdown.

Slope stability is a key concern in stream bank stabilization projects. However, stream bank stability analyses are often limited to the application of rule-of-thumb guidelines, such as: 1) Replicate the stable slopes from upstream and/or downstream of the treatment area; or 2) A 2(H):1(V) slope is satisfactory for slopes less than about 6 meters (20 feet) in height. Such guidelines, while useful in many cases, may overlook critical factors affecting slope stability in both the conservative and non-conservative directions, including spatial variation of bank materials, seepage conditions, and the stabilizing effect of riprap or other revetments. For banks with negligible cohesion, simple infinite slope equations can be applied. But this method of analysis can be overly conservative if the slope is lined with riprap and the effect of the riprap is neglected. On the other hand, if the infinite slope analysis is applied simply to the riprap lining, the result is non-conservative. Stream bank stability should be analyzed for all seepage conditions that may reasonably be expected to occur over the life of the project. The most critical condition is typically the rapid drawdown case, which occurs during the recession portion of the flood hydrograph.

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