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Kumar, J. & Mohan Rao, V. B. K. (2003). Géotechnique 53, No.

3, 347–361

Seismic bearing capacity of foundations on slopes


J. K U M A R  a n d V. B. K . M O H A N R AO 

The effect of pseudo-static horizontal earthquake body Nous avons évalué l’effet des forces corporelles d’un
forces on the bearing capacity of foundations on sloping séisme horizontal pseudo-statique sur la capacité porteuse
ground has been assessed using the method of stress de fondations dans un sol en pente en utilisant la méth-
characteristics. Two failure mechanisms were considered, ode des caractéristiques de contrainte. Nous avons exam-
based on the extension of the characteristics from the iné deux mécanismes de rupture, basés sur l’extension
ground surface towards the footing base from either one des caractéristiques de la surface du sol vers la base de
side or both sides. The magnitude of Nª based on the l’assise, soit d’un seul côté, soit des deux côtés. La
both-sides failure mechanism, for smaller values of earth- magnitude de N ª basée sur le mécanisme de rupture sur
quake acceleration coefficient (Æh ), has been found to be deux côtés, pour des valeurs plus petites du coefficient
significantly smaller than that obtained using the single- d’accélération du séisme (Æh ) est apparue considérable-
side mechanism; however, in the presence of Æh the both- ment plus petite que celle obtenue en utilisant le méca-
sides mechanism becomes kinematically inadmissible in nisme sur un seul côté; cependant, en présence de Æh le
many cases for higher values of . Only the single-side mécanisme sur deux côtés devient inadmissible sur le
mechanism was found statically admissible for computing plan de la cinématique dans de nombreux cas pour des
the bearing capacity factors Nc and Nq on sloping valeurs supérieures de . Nous avons trouvé que seul le
ground. All the bearing capacity factors reduce consider- mécanisme sur un seul côté était admissible du point de
ably with increase in Æh for various ground inclinations. vue statistique pour calculer les facteurs de capacité
porteuse N c et N q sur un sol en pente. Tous les facteurs
KEYWORDS: bearing capacity; earthquakes; footings/founda- de capacité porteuse diminuent considérablement quand
tions; plasticity; soil classification Æh augmente selon diverses inclinaisons du sol.

INTRODUCTION smaller values of Æh , the values obtained for Nª are much


Structures such as retaining walls, transmission towers and lower than the available results in literature. In the present
bridge abutments often involve the construction of shallow paper, the method of characteristics has been extended to
footings on sloping ground. Most of the literature concerned determine the seismic bearing capacity of the foundations on
with the evaluation of the bearing capacity of foundations on slopes. In addition to the both-sides mechanism, the solution
slopes is available only for the static case (Meyerhof, 1957, for Nª has also been determined based on the single-side
1963; Hansen, 1970; Vesic, 1973), but very limited informa- failure mechanism. The obtained values of Nc , Nq and Nª
tion is available to predict the response of foundations on were compared with the available theories in literature. The
inclined ground during an earthquake. Recently, by using an kinematic admissibility of the failure mechanisms is also
upper-bound limit analysis, Zhu (2000) has presented earth- addressed in the paper.
quake reduction factors for the bearing capacity factor Nª
on a sloping ground surface.
Most of the existing studies that do incorporate the effects Definition of the problem
of earthquake body forces are primarily available for founda- The objective of this study is to determine the ultimate
tions placed on horizontal ground (Sarma & Iossifelis, 1990; bearing capacity of a strip footing with width b in the
Budhu & Al-Karni, 1993; Richards et al., 1993; Dormieux presence of horizontal earthquake acceleration Æh g, as
& Pecker, 1995; Soubra, 1997, 1999; Kumar & Mohan Rao, shown in Fig. 1 ( g is the acceleration due to gravity). The
2002). Recently, Kumar & Mohan Rao (2002), using the footing is placed horizontally on an inclined ground surface
method of characteristics, have determined the seismic bear- having an inclination  with the horizontal. It is assumed
ing capacity of foundations on horizontal ground surface. that the ground surface is loaded with a layer of soil
The magnitudes of Nc and Nq were determined by extending overburden having equal vertical thickness, d, on either side
the characteristics entirely from one side of the footing. It of the footing.
was seen that, in the presence of Æh (the magnitude of the
horizontal earthquake acceleration coefficient), only the sin-
gle-side failure mechanism (see Fig. 1(b)) was found to be BOUNDARY CONDITIONS
statically admissible for ª ¼ 0. By contrast, the magnitude Along ground surface
of Nª was computed by extending the characteristics from By using the equilibrium equations in the presence of
both sides of the footing; the both-sides mechanism (see vertical and horizontal body forces, the magnitudes of the
Fig. 1(a)) yields a much smaller magnitude of Nª than the normal and shear stresses  n and nt along a semi-infinite
single-side failure mechanism. It was demonstrated that, for sloping ground surface on either side of the footing, due to
overlying soil strata, can be expressed by the following
equations:
Manuscript received 8 January 2002; revised manuscript accepted  n ¼ q[cos2   Æh sin  cos ] (1a)
18 July 2002.
Discussion on this paper closes 1 October 2003; for further details  nt ¼ q[cos  sin  þ Æ h cos ]
2
(1b)
see p. ii.
 Civil Engineering Department, Indian Institute of Science, where q ¼ ªd, and ª is the unit weight of the soil mass.
Bangalore. The state of the stress everywhere along the ground

347
348 KUMAR AND MOHAN RAO
Pult
γ αhPult
d V0 ω
αhγ
M Over burden strata y
ψ β γ
θ⫹µ V1L V10R αh γ σn
γ
ψ V1R
α hγ τnt d
(θ ⫺ µ) Ground surface
ψ
θ⫺µ
ψ σx
ψ
τxy
ψ (θ ⫹ µ)
b σy σy
characteristic
θ τxy
x
σ1 σx

Pult (a)
γ
d αhγ αhPult V0 ⫽ V1R
Over burden strata y
β γ
ψ V1R αhγ
γ d σn
αh γ τnt Ground surface

ψ θ⫺µ
ψ

ψ
ψ (θ ⫹ µ)
b characteristic
x
(b)

Fig. 1. Failure mechanisms: (a) both sides; (b) single side

   
surface can be fully defined by satisfying the Mohr– 1 sin
Łf ¼ sin1 þ (6)
Coulomb failure criterion. The magnitude of Ł, the angle 2 sin 
between the direction of the major principal stress ( 1 ) and
the positive x-axis (see Fig. 1), can then be expressed by the where ¼ tan1 Æh .
following formulae. Satisfaction of the Mohr–Coulomb failure condition and
For c ¼ 0 (in the determination of Nq and Nª ): equation (5) for c 6¼ 0 results in the following relationship:
    sin  sin 2Łf ¼ Æh [ (1 þ sin  cos 2Łf )  H] (7)
ŁgR 1 sin k
¼ k    sin1  (2)
ŁgL 2 sin  where  is the distance between the centre of the Mohr
circle and the point where Coulomb’s failure line joins the
where normal stress axis, and H ¼ c cot . Equations (6) and (7)
are exactly the same as those given by Kumar & Mohan
k ¼  þ tan1 Æh (3) Rao (2002), and therefore their derivations are omitted here.
For ª ¼ 0, q ¼ 0, c 6¼ 0 (in the determination of Nc ):
ŁgR 
¼  (4) FAILURE MECHANISMS
ŁgL 2 The following two failure mechanisms were considered in
In the above equations ŁgL and ŁgR indicate the values of Ł carrying out the analysis.
along the sloping ground surface on the left and right sides
of the footing respectively. The derivation of the formulae
for ŁgL and ŁgR was carried out in a way similar to that Both-sides failure mechanism
explained in Kumar & Mohan Rao (2002). In this mechanism, starting from the known boundary
stresses on the sloping ground surface, the paths of the
characteristics were extended simultaneously from both sides
of the footing gradually towards the footing base, with the
Along footing–soil interface satisfaction of either equation (6) or equation (7), such that
The ratio of the shear to the normal stress everywhere the bearing pressure at the point of intersection of the two
along the surface of footing has been assumed to be equal plastic zones (point M in Fig. 1(a)) becomes exactly the
to Æh : that is, same from both sides. This mechanism is applicable for the
xy ¼ Æh  x (5) computation of Nª with smaller values of Æh ; for higher
values of Æh the point M no longer exists. The mechanism
By satisfying (a) the failure criterion and (b) the above is statically admissible as it satisfies the boundary conditions
condition, the value of Ł along the footing surface (Łf ) can on the ground surface as well along the footing surface, and
be expressed by the following formula for c ¼ 0: it involves no discontinuous state of stress in the solution
SESIMIC BEARING CAPACITY OF FOUNDATIONS ON SLOPES 349
except for the singularities along the edges of the footing. In left edge of the footing with increasing values of Æh and .
the determination of Nc and Nq, the pressure distribution Since the point M cannot extend beyond the left edge of the
along the footing base becomes uniform, and its magnitude footing, after some values of Æh and  the point of peak
differs (except for  ¼ Æh ¼ 0) depending on whether the pressure coincides with the left edge of the footing, and the
solution is obtained from the left or the right side of the bearing capacity in all such cases can be determined entirely
foundation: the point M therefore no longer exists in this from the right side of the footing. For the single-side failure
case, and the both-sides mechanism becomes statically inad- mechanism, the bearing capacity is always found to be
missible for footings on a sloping ground surface. smaller from the right side of the footing. The pressure
distributions below the footing surface entirely from the right
side of the footing for the above input parameters are also
Single-side failure mechanism shown as dotted lines in Fig. 2.
In this mechanism, starting from the known state of stress Failure patterns
along the ground surface, the characteristics were extended Figure 3 shows the changes in the geometry of the failure
towards the footing base entirely from one of the two sides patterns with increase in Æh using the both-sides failure
of the footing. The smaller of the two bearing pressure mechanism for values of q=(ªb) ¼ 0:01, c ¼ 0,  ¼ 308 and
distributions obtained from each side of the footing was  ¼ 108. It can be seen that, on either side of the footing,
used to determine the relevant bearing capacity. This there exists a zone of planar shear adjacent to the ground
mechanism remains applicable for all values of Æh in finding surface. With increase in Æh , the point M where the bound-
Nc , Nq and Nª . This mechanism is statically admissible as it aries of the two zones from either side of the footing
satisfies the boundary conditions along the footing surface coincide at its base shifts gradually from the centre towards
and on its appropriate side along the ground surface, and the left edge of the footing. For the single-side failure
again it involves no stress discontinuity except for the mechanism, for the same data as chosen above, the changes
singularity at the edge of the footing. in the geometry of failure patterns with increase in Æh are
shown in Fig. 4. It can be seen that the depth of the plastic
zone reduces gradually with increase in Æh . Note that the
ANALYSIS failure patterns illustrated in Figs 3 and 4 were drawn by
Owing to the difference in the magnitudes of Łf and Łg, choosing a relatively small number of characteristics,
the direction of the principal stresses along the footing base whereas in finding the bearing capacity factors the computa-
becomes different from that along the ground surface. There- tions were performed by using a much larger number of
fore a singularity exists in the solution at the edges of the characteristics: the total number of (Ł 
) and (Ł þ
)
footing. Starting from the ground surface along the right characteristics used for obtaining the bearing pressures var-
side of the footing, all the (Ł þ
) characteristics converge ied from 200 to 1000.
about the right edge of the footing and then join at the
footing surface, where
¼ =4  =2. Similarly, all the
(Ł 
) characteristics emerging from the ground across Bearing capacity factors
the left side of the footing bend about the left edge of the The ultimate bearing capacity ( pult ) of the foundation was
footing before terminating along the surface of the footing expressed in the form of Terzaghi (1943)’s standard bearing
(see Fig. 1). From the known state of stress along the capacity expression:
ground, equation (6) or equation (7), as the case may be, pult ¼ cN c þ qNq þ 0:5ªbNª (8)
can then be satisfied to obtain the pressure distribution along
the base of the footing for the appropriate failure mechan- For Æh ¼ 0, closed-form formulae exist for the bearing
ism. The various approximations made in the analysis, and capacity factors Nc and Nq . However, with Æh . 0 the
the computational details of obtaining Nc , Nq and Nª with closed-form solution can be obtained only for the bearing
the method of characteristics (Sokolovski, 1960) are de- capacity factor Nq. The formula for Nq in the presence of
scribed by Kumar & Mohan Rao (2002), and therefore are Æh and  is
not repeated here.
Nq ¼ (1 þ sin  cos 2Łf )
" ( ) #
(cos2   Æh sin  cos )
RESULTS 3 exp ln þ 2(ŁgR  Łf ) tan 
Vertical pressure distribution along footing surface (1 þ sin  cos 2(ŁgR þ )
ª ¼ 0. In this case, the vertical pressure distribution along (9)
the surface of the footing becomes uniform. The magnitude
of the bearing pressure obtained from the right side of the The values of ŁgR and Łf are defined by equations (2) and
footing is found to be much lower than that obtained from the (6). The formula for Nq was developed based on the
left side of the footing; note that the bearing pressure for foundation pressure established entirely from the right side
 ¼ Æh ¼ 0 becomes exactly the same from both sides. of the foundation; the derivation of Nq is given in Appendix
Therefore the bearing capacity of the foundations on slopes 1. The pressure along the base of the footing computed from
for ª ¼ 0 can be obtained entirely from the right side of the the left side of the foundation is found to be much higher
footing, and hence only the single-side failure mechanism than that from the right side.
remains applicable for foundations on sloping ground. For Æh ¼ 0 the formula for Nc in the presence of  is
ª . 0, c ¼ 0 and q ffi 0. In this case the vertical pressure Nc ¼ (1 þ sin )
distribution along the foundation surface becomes linear for 

both types of failure mechanism. Fig. 2 represents typical cot 
3 exp ln þ  tan   2 tan   cot 
variations of the pressure distribution below the footing with (1  sin )
Æh for  ¼ 08, 58 and 108 with  ¼ 308. The pressure (10)
distribution in all cases is found to be triangular. In the both-
sides mechanism, the point on the footing surface relevant to The derivation of the above expression is also given in
the peak pressure (corresponding to point M on the footing Appendix 1.
base in Fig. 1(a)) shifts gradually from the centre towards the The variations of the obtained bearing capacity factors
350 KUMAR AND MOHAN RAO
20
Both-sides failure mechanism

Single-side failure mechanism


15
αh ⫽ 0.0
0.1
0.2

pu/(γb)
10 0.3

αh
5

0
⫺1 ⫺0.8 ⫺0.6 ⫺0.4 ⫺0.2 0
y/b
(a)

15
Both-sides failure mechanism

Single-side failure mechanism


αh ⫽ 0.0
10 0.1
0.2
0.3
pu/(γb)

5 αh

0
⫺1 ⫺0.8 ⫺0.6 ⫺0.4 ⫺0.2 0
y/b
(b)

12
Both-sides failure mechanism
10 Single-side failure mechanism

8 αh ⫽ 0.0
0.1
0.2
pu/(γb)

6 0.3
αh
4

0
⫺1 ⫺0.8 ⫺0.6 ⫺0.4 ⫺0.2 0
y/b
(c)

Fig. 2. Variation of pressure distribution along footing base with Æh and  for  308,
q/(ªb) 0·01 and c 0: (a)  08; (b)  58; (c)  108

Nc , Nq and Nª with Æh for different values of  and  are case; the load inclination factors were evaluated from the
shown in Figs 5–7. These figures clearly show that all the known vertical inclination of the resultant load, where
bearing capacity factors decrease considerably with increase ¼ tan1 (Æh ). The results in the presence of Æh and  were
in the value of Æh . The magnitudes of the bearing capacity compared with those of Hansen (1970), Vesic (1973),
factors decrease further with increasing ground inclinations. Meyerhof (1957) and Zhu (2000). The comparison of the
For  ¼ 0 and Æh ¼ 0, the magnitude of Nª obtained on results is presented in Figs 8–13. It can be seen that, in all
the basis of the both-sides mechanism becomes exactly half cases, the bearing capacity factors Nc and Nq compare quite
the corresponding value from the single-side mechanism. The favourably with the theories from literature, whereas the Nª
difference in the Nª values based on the two different failure values from the present analysis are seen to be generally
mechanisms reduces with increasing values of Æh and . lower than the reported values: the observed difference is
found to be greater wherever the effect of the horizontal
body forces is not considered. The values of Nª determined
COMPARISONS on the basis of the both-sides mechanism are seen to be
In the presence of Æh , for  ¼ 0, the values of Nc , Nq and much lower than for the single-side failure mechanism,
Nª were compared with those obtained by Sarma & Iossife- especially for lower values of Æh and .
lis (1990), Budhu & Al-Karni (1993), Soubra (1999) and The obtained magnitudes of Nc , Nq and Nª for different
Zhu (2000). In addition, in order to make a comparison of values of  with  ¼ Æh ¼ 0 were also compared with the
the results in the presence of Æh and , the load inclination corresponding method of characteristics solution of Larkin
factors were employed for the available results of Meyerhof (1968) and Bolton & Lau (1993); the comparison is given in
(1957, 1963), Hansen (1970) and Vesic (1973) for the static Table 1. The solutions of (a) Bolton & Lau (1993) on the
SESIMIC BEARING CAPACITY OF FOUNDATIONS ON SLOPES 351
αh direction
0

0.2

x /b
0.4

0.6
⫺1.5 ⫺1 ⫺0.5 0 0.5 1 1.5 2
y /b
(a)

αh direction
0

0.2
x /b

0.4

0.6
⫺1.5 ⫺1 ⫺0.5 0 0.5 1 1.5 2
y /b
(b)

αh direction
0

0.2
x/b

0.4

0.6
⫺1.5 ⫺1 ⫺0.5 0 0.5 1 1.5 2
y /b
(c)

αh direction
0

0.2
x/b

0.4

0.6
⫺1.5 ⫺1 ⫺0.5 0 0.5 1 1.5 2
y /b
(d)

Fig. 3. Variation of failure patterns with Æh using both-sides mechanism for q/(ªb)
0·01,  108, c 0 and  308: (a) Æh 0·0; (b) Æh 0·1; (c) Æh 0·2; (d) Æh 0·3

basis of the both-sides failure mechanism and (b) Larkin tables were utilised in the present study to compute Nª in
(1968) on the basis of single-side mechanism are both based the presence of Æh . The basis for the determination of Nª is
on the condition that that no shear stress develops along the illustrated in Fig. 14. A triangular trapped wedge ABC was
footing–soil interface; the present solution for Æh ¼ 0 is also considered below the footing surface. The interior angle at
based on exactly the same boundary conditions. It can be the point C was kept equal to =2   to ascertain that the
seen that the present results are almost the same as those logarithmic spiral arc CD joins tangentially to the straight
reported. The reported Nª values of Bolton & Lau (1993) line AC. Along the lines BC and AC, it was assumed that
with the inclusion of a symmetrical trapped triangular the shear strength of the soil mass is mobilised completely.
wedge, having its inclined sides at an inclination of Therefore the passive earth pressure, Pp , was determined for
(=4 þ =2) with the footing base, are found to be much the vertical inclination =2  ø2 of the wall having a wall–
higher than for the single-side mechanism; the bearing soil interface friction angle ; ø2 is the horizontal inclina-
capacity of the foundation was determined by considering tion of BC. Horizontal and vertical force equilibrium condi-
the vertical force equilibrium of the trapped wedge and with tions of the wedge ABC were then used to determine two
the assumption that the shear strength of the soil mass is unknown forces Pult and R, where R is the reaction along
mobilised completely along both the inclined sides of the the failure line AC making an angle  with its normal
wedge. direction. The obtained Pult was then minimised with respect
By using an upper-bound limit analysis, Chen & Liu to kinematical admissible variation of the wall inclination,
(1990) have generated a set of tables for obtaining the ø2 . The values of Nª obtained in this manner for different
variation of the seismic passive earth pressure coefficients values of Æh for  ¼ 308 and 408 with the horizontal ground
with changes in Æh for different wall inclinations and soil– surface are indicated in Figs 12 and 13. These values of
wall interface friction angles. These passive earth pressure Chen & Liu (1990) are found to be generally higher than
352 KUMAR AND MOHAN RAO
0 αh direction
0.2

0.4

x /b
0.6

0.8
⫺1 ⫺0.5 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5
y/b
(a)

0 αh direction

0.2

0.4
x /b

0.6

0.8
⫺1 ⫺0.5 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5
y/b
(b)

0 αh direction

0.2

0.4
x/b

0.6

0.8
⫺1 ⫺0.5 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5
y/b
(c)

0 αh direction

0.2

0.4
x/b

0.6

0.8
⫺1 ⫺0.5 0 0.5 1 1.5 2 2.5
y/b
(d)

Fig. 4. Variation of failure patterns with Æh using single-side mechanism for q/(ªb)
0·01,  108, c 0 and  308: (a) Æh 0·0; (b) Æh 0·1; (c) Æh 0·2; (d) Æh 0·3

those given by most of the other theories including the the footing surface becomes equal to zero, and therefore the
present one. It should be mentioned that Chen & Liu have results obtained for the static case can only be applicable for
provided passive earth pressure tables with a minimum wall a smooth footing provided the corresponding failure mechan-
inclination interval of only 158: therefore the minimisation ism is kinematically admissible as well. For Æh . 0, the
of Nª obtained in this manner will be only approximate. assumed shear stress along the footing–soil interface will
The comparison could not be made for footings on sloping always be greater than zero, and therefore the results cannot
ground because passive earth pressure coefficients were not be applicable for a smooth footing; the shear stress at the
available for downward slope inclinations. footing–soil interface can exist only for a rough footing.
However, for a rough footing in the presence of Æh , it cannot
be simply certified that the ratio of the shear to normal
DISCUSSION stress will remain constant everywhere along the footing–
Footing roughness soil interface as has been assumed in the present study. For
It is a known fact that the bearing capacity factor Nª is a rough footing in the static case, by using FLAC, it has
affected significantly by the roughness of the footing, been demonstrated by Frydman & Burd (1997) that the ratio
whereas the values of Nc and Nq remain almost independent of the shear to normal stress along the rigid footing–soil
of variation in the roughness of the footing–soil interface interface, with horizontal ground surface, varies in the
(Griffiths, 1982). It has been assumed in the present study manner indicated in Fig. 15. It can be seen that the value of
that everywhere along the footing–soil interface the ratio of the ratio  xy = x remains equal to zero along the centre of
the shear to normal stress remains equal to Æh . For Æh ¼ 0, the footing (axis of symmetry), and it attains a maximum
the magnitude of the assumed shear stress everywhere along value at some distance before reaching the edge of the
SESIMIC BEARING CAPACITY OF FOUNDATIONS ON SLOPES 353
β ⫽ 0º
6 9
β ⫽ 0º β ⫽ 0º 5º
5º 10º

8 10º 15º
10º
5 15º 20º
15º
7 20º 25º
20º
25º 30º
25º
30º 35º
30º
6 35º 40º
4 35º 10
40º 45º
40º
45º 50º
45º
5 50º
50º
Nc

3
4

2
3

2 2
0.0 0.2 0.4 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.0 0.2 0.4
αh αh αh
(a) (b) (c)

β ⫽ 0º
β ⫽ 0º β ⫽ 0º

5º 5º
10º
10º 10º
15º
15º 100 15º
20º
20º 20º
25º
25º 25º
30º
30º 30º
35º
35º 35º
40º
40º 40º
45º
45º 45º
50º
50º 50º

100
Nc

10

10

10

0.0 0.2 0.4 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.0 0.2 0.4


αh αh αh
(d) (e) (f)

Fig. 5. Variation of Nc with Æh for different values of  and : (a)  08; (b)  108; (c)  208; (d) 
308; (e)  408; (f)  508

footing on either side. However, in the presence of Æh , the footing surface as (a) no shear stress at all can exist along
distribution of the ratio  xy = x is unknown, and it cannot be the smooth footing–soil interface, and (b) the resultant load
simply established using the method of characteristics. It is, on the rough footing surface should be inclined at an angle
however, anticipated that the obtained Nª values for higher tan1 Æh with the vertical. Although the present analysis is
values of Æh are more likely to be applicable for a rough not based on the true distribution of the shear to normal
354 KUMAR AND MOHAN RAO
3 10 100

10
100
2 β ⫽ 0º
β ⫽ 0º β ⫽ 0º

β ⫽ 0º 5º
Nq

β ⫽ 0º 10º

5º 5º 15º
25º 20º 10
5º 15º 15º
10º 10º 10º 20º

10

15º
35º 30º 25º 20º
45º 40º 35º 30º 25º
1 1 1.
0.0 0.1 0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 00 0.2 0.4 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.0 0.2 0.4
αh αh αh αh αh
(a) (b) (c) (d) (e)

Fig. 6. Variation of Nq with Æh for different values of  and : (a)  108; (b)  208; (c)  308; (d)  408; (e)  508

100 1000
Both sides Both sides Both sides Both sides Both sides
Single side Single side Single side Single side Single side
10

1.00

15º 100
5º β ⫽ 0º β ⫽ 0º
10º β ⫽ 0º
0.10 β ⫽ 0º
10 5º

25º β ⫽ 0º
20º 10º
5º 1
0.10 15º 15º
10
5º 20º
10º
35º 45º
30º 10º 40º 35º
25º 30º 25º

20º
15º
1
0.01 . 0.01 . 0.1 1
00 0.1 00 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.0 0.2 0.4
αh αh αh αh αh
(a) (b) (c) (d) (e)

Fig. 7. Variation of Nª with Æh for different values of  and : (a)  108; (b)  208; (c)  308; (d)  408; (e)  508

stress ratio along the rough footing–soil interface, the zone (Drucker, 1952). The determination of the kinematic
resultant load on the footing–soil interface does make an admissibility of the characteristics is addressed in detail by
angle tan1 Æh with the vertical in the presence of earthquake Lee & Herington (1972). The kinematic admissibility of the
acceleration. chosen failure surfaces for the passive earth pressure pro-
blem is also examined by Kumar & Subba Rao (1997). In
the present paper only the kinematic admissibility of the
Kinematic admissibility outermost stress characteristics paths along the footing–soil
The results presented in this paper have been obtained interface is examined; the kinematic admissibility of the
with the help of two different types of failure mechanism. It characteristics everywhere within the plastic domain is not
has been demonstrated earlier that for finding Nc and Nq for checked. Two different flow rules—(a) an associated flow
footings on a sloping ground surface only the single-side rule and (b) a non-associated flow rule with dilatancy angle,
failure mechanism remains statically admissible, whereas for ł ¼ 0—were considered for examining the kinematic admis-
Nª both types of failure mechanism are found to be sibility. For a kinematically admissible rupture surface, the
statically admissible for lower values of Æh . However, for direction of the resultant plastic velocity should incline at an
higher values of Æh only the single-side failure mechanism angle ł with the corresponding rupture/velocity discontinu-
remains statically admissible (see Fig. 7). A failure mechan- ity path: this is indicated in Fig. 1. If no slip is allowed
ism will be kinematically admissible provided the rate of between the footing and the underlying soil mass (i.e. a
plastic work remains positive everywhere within the plastic rough interface), then the outermost slip lines (Ł þ
charac-
SESIMIC BEARING CAPACITY OF FOUNDATIONS ON SLOPES 355
35 35 30
Sarma & Iossifelis (1990) Hansen (1970) Hansen (1970)
Soubra (1999) Vesic (1973)
Budhu & Al-Karni (1993) Vesic (1973)
Hansen (1970) Present study Present study
30 Vesic (1973) 30
Meyerhof (1963) 25
Present study

25 25
20

20 20
Nc

15

15 15

10
10 10

5
5 5

0 0 0
0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5
αh αh αh
(a) (b) (c)

Fig. 8. Comparison of Nc with Æh and  for  308: (a)  08; (b)  108; (c)  208

80 70
Sarma & Iossifelis (1990) Hansen (1970) Hansen (1970)
Soubra (1999)
Budhu & Al-Karni (1993) Vesic (1973) Vesic (1973)
75 Hansen (1970) Present study Present study
70
Vesic (1973) 60
Meyerhof (1963)
Present study
65 60
50

50
55
40
Nc

40
45
30
30

35 20
20

25 10
10

15 0 0
0.0 0.2 0.4 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5
αh αh αh
(a) (b) (c)

Fig. 9. Comparison of Nc with Æh and  for  408: (a)  08; (b)  158; (c)  308

teristics as shown in Fig. 1(b)) for the single-side failure interface, the horizontal component of V10 should be direc-
mechanism become kinematically admissible for all values ted towards left, as indicated in Figs 16(b)–(d); however, for
of Æh and  both with ł ¼ 0 and . The both-sides Æh ¼ 0, either direction of V10 will be kinematically admis-
mechanism, on the other hand, necessitates the generation of sible as no shear stress will develop along the interface
slip along the footing–soil interface. The relative velocity (smooth foundation). Let the direction of the velocity V0 of
V10 of the soil mass just lying below the footing–soil inter- the footing make an angle ø with the vertical, as shown in
face, with respect to the velocity of the footing, must incline Fig. 16(d). The velocity hodographs with respect to the
at an angle ł with the horizontal. In accordance with the outermost characteristics at point M on either side of the
direction of the assumed shear stress on the footing–soil footing are indicated in Fig. 16. In this figure, V1L and V1R
356 KUMAR AND MOHAN RAO
15 8
Sarma & Iossifelis (1990) Hansen (1970) Hansen (1970)
Soubra (1999) Vesic (1973)
Budhu & Al-Karni (1993) Vesic (1973)
Hansen (1970) Present study Present study
20
Vesic (1973)
Meyerhof (1963)
Present study
6

10
15

4
Nq

10

2
5

0 0
0. 0.05 0.1 0.15
00 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0
αh αh αh
(a) (b) (c)

Fig. 10. Comparison of Nq with Æh and  for  308: (a)  08; (b)  108; (c)  208

15
Sarma & Iossifelis (1990) Hansen (1970) Hansen (1970)
70 Soubra (1999) Vesic (1973) Vesic (1973)
Budhu & Al-Karni (1993)
Hansen (1970) Present study Present study
Vesic (1973) 30
Meyerhof (1963)
60 Present study

50 10

20
40
Nq

30

5
10
20

10

0. 0 0
00 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0 0.2 0.4 0 0.05 0.1 0.15
αh αh αh
(a) (b) (c)

Fig. 11. Comparison of Nq with Æh and  for  408: (a)  08; (b)  158; (c)  308

are the velocities of the soil mass just below the footing– failure mechanism is statically admissible only for the
soil interface on the left and right sides of the point M computation of Nª . For a kinematically admissible failure
respectively, and V10L and V10R are the relative velocities of mechanism, the direction of V0 should lie on the right side
the underlying soil mass on the left and right sides of the of the direction of V1R , as shown in Fig. 16(c). This
point M with respect to the velocity of the footing. The condition can be fulfilled provided ø > (Łf þ
) þ ł, with
directions of V1L and V1R will be inclined at angles the obvious requirement that 908 . ø > 0. In addition, for a
(Łf 
) þ ł and (Łf þ
) þ ł respectively with the verti- failure mechanism to be kinematically admissible all the
cal, as shown in Figs 16(b) and 16(c); Łf is defined by interior angles of the velocity hodograph triangles OLF and
equation (6), since for footings on slopes the both-sides OFR should remain positive.
SESIMIC BEARING CAPACITY OF FOUNDATIONS ON SLOPES 357
30 16 10
Sarma & Iossifelis (1990) Hansen (1970) Hansen (1970)
Soubra (1999) Vesic (1973) Vesic (1973)
Budhu & Al-Karni (1993) Zhu (2000) Zhu (2000)
Hansen (1970)
Vesic (1973) Meyerhof (1957, 1963) Meyerhof (1957, 1963)
25 Zhu (2000) Present study Present study
Meyerhof (1957, 1963) 8
Present study
Chen & Liu (1990) 12

20

Single side 6 Single side


15 8

Single side 4
Both sides
10

4 Both sides
2
5 Both sides

00 0 0
0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0 0.05 0.1 0.15
αh αh αh
(a) (b) (c)

Fig. 12. Comparison of Nª with Æh and  for  308: (a)  08; (b)  108; (c)  208

160
Sarma & Iossifelis (1990) 80 25
Soubra (1999) Hansen (1970) Hansen (1970)
Budhu & Al-Karni (1993) Vesic (1973) Vesic (1973)
Hansen (1970) Zhu (2000)
140 Vesic (1973) Zhu (2000)
Zhu (2000) Meyerhof (1957, 1963) Meyerhof (1957, 1963)
Meyerhof (1957, 1963) Present study Present study
Present study 20
120 Chen & Liu (1990)
60

100 O ne side
15 Single side
o
One side

80 40
Single side

10
60
Both sides

40 20
Both sides 5
Both sides
20

0 0 0
0 0.2 0.4 0 0.2 0.4 0 0.05 0.1 0.15
αh αh αh
(a) (b) (c)

Fig. 13. Comparison of Nª with Æh and  for  408: (a)  08; (b)  158; (c)  308

For different combinations of  and Æh, these require- the both-sides mechanism is always kinematically inadmissi-
ments for a kinematically admissible failure mechanism were ble, has been found to be equal to 0:352 for  ¼ 368. Up to
checked by means of writing a separate computer program.  ¼ 308, the minimum value of Æh for the kinematically
The computations have revealed that, for ł ¼ 0, the both- admissible failure mechanism has been found to be equal to
sides mechanism remains kinematically admissible for all zero. However, for  . 308, the minimum value of Æh for
values of Æh , whereas for an associated flow rule material, the kinematically admissible failure mechanism has been
the kinematically admissible range of Æh for different values seen to increase with increase in . For  . 448, the both-
of  with respect to the both-sides failure mechanism is as sides mechanism becomes kinematically inadmissible for all
shown in Fig. 17. The maximum value of Æh , beyond which values of Æh . 0. For Æh ¼ 0, as the slip at the footing–soil
358 KUMAR AND MOHAN RAO
Table 1. Comparison of bearing capacity factors for  Æh 0
 Nc Nq Nª

Bolton & Lau (1993) Larkin (1968) Present study

Bolton & Lau Present study Bolton & Lau Present study Both-sides Trapped Single-side Both-sides Single-side
(1993) (single-side (1993) (single-side mechanism wedge mechanism mechanism mechanism
mechanism) mechanism)
5 6·52 6·49 1·57 1·57 0·09 0·62 – 0·08 0·16
10 8·34 8·34 2·47 2·47 0·29 1·71 – 0·28 0·56
15 10·97 10·98 3·94 3·94 0·71 3·17 – 0·71 1·41
20 14·84 14·83 6·40 6·40 1·60 5·97 – 1·60 3·20
25 20·80 20·72 10·70 10·66 3·51 11·60 – 3·51 7·03
30 30·14 30·14 18·40 18·40 7·74 23·60 15·70 7·63 15·46
35 46·13 46·12 33·30 33·30 17·80 51·00 – 17·82 35·82
40 75·08 75·31 64·00 64·19 44·00 121·00 87·00 43·50 87·26

Pult
αhPult
A B B
ω1 β
ω2
αh Wc Pp

Wc φ
φ 90⫺φ
φ
R
Pp C 90 ⫹ φ α W
h log
C

Wlog αhWplanar

Wplanar
90 ⫹ φ
Logarithmic spiral E
D
Fig. 14. Determination of bearing capacity from passive pressure considerations for
c q 0

remain kinematically admissible for all values of Æh with


 . 308. The both-sides mechanism requires slip along the
footing–soil interface. This slip leads to an increase in
energy dissipation for rough footings, which will conse-
quently result in higher bearing capacity on the basis of the
upper-bound limit analysis (Michalowski, 1997). However,
τxy
the method of characteristics cannot exclusively account for
the slip requirement between the footing and the soil. The
τxy /σx distribution below the
single-side failure mechanism remains kinematically admis-
footing surface using FLAC sible for all those cases where no slip has been allowed
(Frydman & Burd, 1997) along the soil–footing interface (rough foundation). The
results on the basis of the single-side mechanism compare
reasonably well with most of the existing results whereas, on
Fig. 15. Distribution of  xy /x below the rough footing surface the other hand, the both-sides mechanism provides quite
for Æh 0 conservative estimate of the bearing capacity. The present
Nª values for Æh ¼ 0 on the basis of the both-sides mechan-
ism will be valid for a perfectly smooth footing; this is so
since the both-sides mechanism remains kinematically as
interface can take place in either direction, the both-sides well statically admissible for Æh ¼ 0, and these values are
mechanism has been found to be kinematically admissible much smaller than those obtained using the single-side fail-
for all values of  (not indicated in Fig. 17). ure mechanism.
Note that, while specifying the stresses along the ground,
the contribution of the shear strength of the soil strata lying
REMARKS above the ground surface has been ignored. As a result the
From the obtained Nª values, it can be seen that in all solution developed in this paper will be valid only for
cases the both-sides failure mechanism offers a safe solution foundations placed at very shallow depths.
to the problem of the bearing capacity, both with and with- The effect of the vertical pseudo-static earthquake body
out the presence of pseudo-static earthquake body forces. forces on the bearing capacity factors can be incorporated
However, it can be seen from the earlier discussion that it is by changing the unit weight ª to ªr in a similar fashion to
not necessary that the both-sides failure mechanism will that explained in Kumar & Mohan Rao (2002).
SESIMIC BEARING CAPACITY OF FOUNDATIONS ON SLOPES 359

ψ Both-sides
ψ mechanism
V1L V1R

⫺(θf ⫺ µ) θf ⫹ µ

θ⫺µ θ⫹µ
(a) characteristics characteristics

x
O

θf ⫹ µ ⫹ ψ V0
O ω
V0
⫺(θf ⫺ µ) ⫹ ψ ω V1R
ψ
F
V1L ψ F V10R
R
V10L
(c)

L (b)

V0 αh

τxy

V10
(d)

Fig. 16. Velocity hodographs at the interface of the footing and underlying soil
mass: (a) velocity of soil mass just below M; (b) hodographs triangles on the left
of M; (c) hodographs triangles on right of M; and (d) velocity and shear stress
along footing – soil interface

friction angle (). An increase in the magnitude of Æh brings


0.4
an appreciable reduction in all the bearing capacity factors.
The magnitudes of the bearing capacity factors decrease
Kinematically admissible αh values

further with increases in ground inclination. The both-sides


0.3 failure mechanism provides a conservative estimate of the
bearing capacity factor Nª compared with the single-side
failure mechanism for smaller values of Æh and ; however,
for higher values of  in many cases the both-sides failure
0.2
mechanism becomes kinematically inadmissible.
ψ⫽φ

0.1
APPENDIX 1. DETERMINATION OF Nq FOR Æh > 0 and
Nc for Æh ¼ 0
Starting from the ground surface on the right side of the
0.0 foundation, all the Ł þ
characteristics converge about the right
5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 edge of the foundation and join at its base.
φ For ª ¼ 0, along the Ł þ
characteristics, ¼ ( þ Ł) ¼ constant
(Kumar & Mohan Rao, 2002): therefore gR ¼ f . The subscript
‘gR’ refers to the value of the variable along the ground surface on
Fig. 17. Kinematically admissible range of Æh for both-sides
the right side of the foundation, and the subscript ‘f’ implies the
failure mechanism
foundation surface.
Along the ground surface, the magnitude of  n is given by
equation (1a).
CONCLUSIONS
With the satisfaction of the Mohr–Coulomb failure criterion,
The influence of pseudo-static horizontal earthquake body along the ground surface the normal stress ( n ) is expressed as
forces on the bearing capacity of foundations on soil slopes follows in terms of two variables  gR and ŁgR (Sokolovski, 1960):
has been theoretically explored by using the method of stress
characteristics. The variation of the bearing capacity factors  n ¼  gR 1 þ sin  cos 2(ŁgR þ )  H (11)
Nc , Nq and Nª has been obtained as a function of earth- Substituting the value of  n from equation (1a) in the above
quake acceleration coefficient (Æh ), slope inclination ( ) and expression:
360 KUMAR AND MOHAN RAO
q(cos2   Æh sin  cos ) þ H q surcharge pressure
 gR ¼ (12)
1 þ sin  cos 2(ŁgR þ ) R soil reaction along the line AC of Fig. 14
V0 velocity of the footing
Substituting the value of  gR in the equation  ¼ (cot =2) ln ( = 0 ) V1L velocity of the soil mass just below the footing-soil
(Sokolovski, 1960): interface on the left side of point M in Fig. 1
( )
cot  q(cos2   Æh sin  cos ) þ H V1R velocity of the soil mass just below the footing-soil
gR ¼ ln (13) interface on the right side of point M
2 [1 þ sin  cos 2(ŁgR þ )] 0 V10L relative velocity of the soil mass just below the
where  0 is any chosen value of characteristic stress. footing-soil interface on the left side of point M with
Therefore: respect to the velocity of footing
( ) V10R relative velocity of the soil mass just below the
cot  q(cos2   Æh sin  cos ) þ H footing-soil interface on the right side of point M with
gR ¼ ln þ ŁgR (14) respect to the velocity of footing
2 [1 þ sin  cos 2(ŁgR þ )] 0
Wc Weight of the wedge ABC of Fig. 14
Using gR ¼ f : Wlog Weight of the logarithmic wedge BCD of Fig. 14
( ) Wplanar Weight of the planar wedge BDE of Fig. 14
cot  q(cos2   Æh sin  cos ) þ H x x-coordinate
f ¼ ln þ ŁgR (15)
2 [1 þ sin  cos 2(ŁgR þ )] 0 y y-coordinate
Æh horizontal earthquake acceleration coefficient
Therefore  horizontal inclination of ground surface
( )  variable defined in Appendix 1
cot  q(cos2   Æh sin  cos ) þ H f  along the foundation
f ¼ ln þ ŁgR  Łf (16)
2 [1 þ sin  cos 2(ŁgR þ )] 0 gR  along the ground surface on the right side of the
foundation
Using the relationship f ¼ (cot =2) ln ( = 0 ) it can be shown that tan1 Æh
 f ¼  0 exp[2f tan ] (17)  soil friction angle
ł dilatancy angle of soil
Substituting the value of f from equation (16) in the above ª unit weight of the soil
expression: ªr reduced unit weight of the soil due to vertical
f ¼ 0 earthquake acceleration coefficient
( ) ! k  + tan1 Æh
q(cos2   Æh sin  cos ) þ H
/4  /2
3 exp ln þ 2(ŁgR  Łf ) tan  Ł
[1 þ sin  cos 2(ŁgR þ )] 0 angle made by the major principal stress in a
counterclockwise sense with the positive x-axis
(18) Łf Ł along the foundation
Substituting the above value of  f in the following equation ŁgL Ł along the ground surface on the left side of the
(Sokolovski, 1960): foundation
ŁgR Ł along the ground surface on the right side of the
 x ¼  (1 þ sin  cos 2Ł)  H (19) foundation
Since the pressure is uniform for ª ¼ 0, therefore pult ¼  x : ø vertical inclination of the direction of V0
ø1 horizontal inclination of AC of Fig. 14
pult ¼  0 (1 þ sin  cos 2Łf ) 3 ø2 horizontal inclination of BC of Fig. 14
( ) !
q(cos2   Æh sin  cos ) þ H  distance on the Mohr-stress diagram, between the
exp ln þ 2(ŁgR  Łf ) tan   H center of the Mohr circle and the point where the
[1 þ sin  cos 2(ŁgR þ )] 0 Coulomb’s linear failure envelope joins with -axis
(20) 0 any value of the chosen characteristic stress
f  along the foundation
Noted that, for c ¼ 0, Łf is known and is given by equation (6): gR  along the ground surface on the right side of the
therefore the bearing capacity factor N q can be determined by using foundation
the formula N q ¼ pult =q for c ¼ 0 with  0 ¼ q. The value of ŁgR is n normal stress on sloping ground surface
given by equation (2). It can be seen that the magnitude of Nq will x normal stress on a plane perpendicular to x-axis
be given by equation (9). For q ¼ 0 and c 6¼ 0, in the presence of Æh , y normal stress on a plane perpendicular to y-axis
the value of Łf becomes unknown (equation (7)), and therefore the 1 major principal stress
solution cannot be obtained in the closed form. However, for Æh ¼ 0, nt shear stress on sloping ground surface
the value of Łf becomes simply equal to zero, and the bearing xy shear stress acting on a plane perpendicular to x-axis
capacity factor N c can be obtained by using N c ¼ pult =c with and in the direction of y-axis
 0 ¼ c and ŁgR ¼ =2   from equation (4). It can be seen that the variable defined in Appendix 1.
magnitude of N c will be given by equation (10). f along the foundation
gR along the ground surface on the right side of the
foundation
NOTATION
b width of foundation
c soil cohesion REFERENCES
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H c cot  Budhu, M. & Al-Karni, A. (1993). Seismic bearing capacity of
Nc bearing capacity factor due to soil cohesion soils. Géotechnique 43, No. 1, 181–187.
Nq bearing capacity factor due to surcharge pressure Chen, W. F. & Liu, X. L. (1990). Limit analysis in soil mechanics.
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Pp passive earth pressure along BC of Fig. 14 Dormieux, L. & Pecker, A. (1995). Seismic bearing capacity of
Pu ultimate load per unit length of footing foundation on cohesionless soil. J. Geotech. Engng Div., ASCE
pu ultimate bearing pressure at any point on the 121, No. 3, 300–303.
foundation base Drucker, D. C. (1952). Extended limit design theorems for contin-
pult average ultimate bearing pressure uous media. Q. J. Mech. Appl. Math. 9, 381.
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Frydman, S. & Burd, H. J. (1997). Numerical studies of bearing Meyerhof, G. G. (1957). The ultimate bearing capacity of founda-
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