Session Start Date

6-1-1988

Abstract

In the Spring of 1983, a large landslide occurred near the town of Thistle, Utah which blocked major transportation routes and impounded the Spanish Fork River, inundating the town with 200 feet of water. While much attention has been given to the slide and its impact, very little has been directed toward a quantitative understanding of its causes. An analysis was performed of the Thistle landslide using the SEEPSLOPE finite element system in order to evaluate the mechanisms, factors, and causes of the failure. An elastic, perfectly-plastic stress-strain curve was employed in the analysis to model the behavior of the overconsolidated clay soils. It is concluded that the landslide was a compound, progressive failure which initiated at the toe and progressed uphill. Seepage forces played a significant role in the failure.

Department(s)

Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Appears In

International Conference on Case Histories in Geotechnical Engineering

Meeting Name

Second Conference

Publisher

University of Missouri--Rolla

Publication Date

6-1-1988

Document Version

Final Version

Rights

© 1988 University of Missouri--Rolla, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

File Type

text

Language

English

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Jun 1st, 12:00 AM

A Finite Element Analysis of the Utah "Thistle" Failure

In the Spring of 1983, a large landslide occurred near the town of Thistle, Utah which blocked major transportation routes and impounded the Spanish Fork River, inundating the town with 200 feet of water. While much attention has been given to the slide and its impact, very little has been directed toward a quantitative understanding of its causes. An analysis was performed of the Thistle landslide using the SEEPSLOPE finite element system in order to evaluate the mechanisms, factors, and causes of the failure. An elastic, perfectly-plastic stress-strain curve was employed in the analysis to model the behavior of the overconsolidated clay soils. It is concluded that the landslide was a compound, progressive failure which initiated at the toe and progressed uphill. Seepage forces played a significant role in the failure.