Investigation of slope instability induced by seepage and erosion by a particle method

Johan Vandamme*, Qingping Zou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Citations (Scopus)
102 Downloads (Pure)


A novel particle based Bluff Morphology Model (BMM) developed by the authors is extended in this paper to investigate the effect of two dimensional seepage on the stability and collapse of soil slopes and levees. To incorporate the seepage in the model, Darcy's law is applied to the interactions among neighbouring soil particles and ghost particles are introduced along the enclosed soil boundary so that no fluid crosses the boundary. The contribution of partially saturated soils and matric suction, as well as the change in hydraulic conductivity due to seepage, are predicted well by the present model. The predicted time evolution of slope stability and seepage induced collapse are in reasonable agreement with the experimental results for homogeneous non-cohesive sand and multiple layered cohesive soils. Rapid drawdown over a sand soil is also investigated, and the location and time of the levee collapse occurrence are well captured. A toe erosion model is incorporated in the BMM model, and the location and quantity of erosion from lateral seepage flow is well predicted. The interplay of erosion, seepage and slope instability is examined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9-20
Number of pages12
JournalComputers and Geotechnics
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2013


  • Erosion
  • Levee stability
  • Particle method
  • Seepage erosion
  • Slope instability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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