In this paper, the slope failure in sensitive clays is studied numerically using the particle finite element method which is a novel approach capable of tackling extreme deformation problems. The sensitive clay is described using an elastoviscoplastic model with strain softening. This model can be considered a mixture of the Tresca model with strain softening and the classical Bingham model. The former is used to capture the solid-like behaviour, for example when the clay is intact, whereas the latter is to describe the semi-fluid behaviour of the fully remolded clay. The complete process of the collapse of a sensitive clay deposit is captured successfully and the widely-observed retrogressive failure mode is reproduced. The mechanism behind the failure is also discovered.

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Published on 01/01/2017

Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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