Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science


Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering


Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Vernon R. Schaefer


Potentially unstable slopes can be treated by several measurements such as geometry

changes, reinforcement, or avoidance of the problem. If avoidance and/or geometry changes are

not viable options, the slope may be strengthened. Strengthening of slopes can incorporate many

different technologies: drilled shafts, soil nails, tieback anchors, and micropiles as reinforcing

elements. Among these technologies, the use of piles have been found effective and economical.

The current methods of analysis for pile-reinforced slopes are based on either limit equilibrium

(LE) or geomechanical numerical modeling (finite element method, FEM, and finite difference

method, FDM). Although in recent years there has been an increase in the use of geomechanical

numerical modeling, designers still question the relative advantages, limitations, and accuracy of

these methods compared to traditional methods.

In this study, a comparative analysis have been performed, and the results of a Deep

Foundation Institute, Deep Foundations for Landslides/Slope Stabilization Committee study on

Design Comparisons of Slope Stabilization Methods are reported. The evaluation was focused

on comparing the current methods of advanced numerical modeling for pile reinforced slopes

(LE, FEM, FDM) by analyzing three cases using different analysis approaches performing

coupled and uncoupled analysis.

From the results, recommendations regarding the selection of the most beneficial method

for stability analysis are given. Conclusions regarding pile optimum location, pile optimum

length, key factors for each type of analysis, and lesson learned are presented.


Copyright Owner

Yuderka Trinidad Gonzalez



File Format


File Size

158 pages