Introducing SVSLOPE® – A New Standard in Slope Stability Analysis

SASKATOON, September, 2008 - SoilVision Systems Ltd. continues on the path of technical excellence with the introduction of the SVSLOPE® slope stability software package. The package represents a blend of classic method of slices analysis methods with sophisticated new probabilistic analysis methods and advanced searching algorithms for the critical slip surface. The software is the result of many years of effort by a world-class team of slope stability and software experts. The sophisticated new probabilistic methods are integrated with a sleek and simple user interface with state-of-the-art graphical representation of results.

SVSLOPE® is software for performing deterministic and probabilistic analysis of the stability of soil or rock slopes. The factor of safety, probability of unsatisfactory performance, or reliability index can be calculated. The software interface is simple to use but allows the analysis of complex geometries coupled with groundwater seepage. Comprehensive support for reinforced slopes and external loadings is also present. Specific highlighted features of the software are as follows:

  • Advanced probabilistic analysis (Monte Carlo, Latin HyperCube, APEM)
  • One-way or two-way sensitivity analysis
  • Spatial variability of material properties
  • 14 different analysis methods including classic method of slices such as (Bishop, Janbu, Spencer, Morgenstern-Price, GLE, and others)
  • Coupled unsaturated steady-state or transient seepage analysis is available when combined with the SVFLUX™ software
  • Advanced critical slip surface searching algorithms
  • New finite element based slope stability methods
  • Smooth user interface
  • Comprehensive help systems
  • Extensive support for reinforced slopes
  • External loadings support
  • Support for 14 different soil strength models including (Mohr-Coulomb, Hoek-Brown, Undrained, Anisotropic, Bilinear, Frictional-Undrained, and four unsaturated shear strength  models)
  • Representation of dry or wet tension cracks
  • Comprehensive visualization of results

The SVSLOPE® software replaces the SVDYNAMIC™ slope stability software package which was released in September of 2003. The SVDYNAMIC software introduced the new dynamic programming method of searching for the critical slip surface. The dynamic programming method represented a new method of searching for the critical slip surface. The method was implemented based on work previously done by Baker (1980), Yamagami and Ueta (1988), and Ha and Fredlund (2002). The use of SVDYNAMIC on many projects in geotechnical practice has proven the value of the new searching method in a commercial setting. The features of Dynamic Programming are now a part of SVSLOPE.

SVSLOPE® was programmed as a completely new software package. The driving motive was to provide a fresh new outlook at slope stability analysis. The software is programmed entirely on the innovative Microsoft .NET development environment and fully implements sophisticated and new object-oriented programming concepts. The new software technology allows speedy implementation of further new and innovative slope stability concepts.

The user interface on the new package is designed to allow the user to quickly create models accurately and efficiently. Compliance with standard methods of user interface design allows convenient access to software commands through toolbars or right-click menus. Standard CAD-type functionality is available with grid, snapping, and object snapping features. The menu system is laid out in a logical left-to-right and top-top bottom package. In other words, if the user proceeds in a logical manner through the menu system they will be guided naturally through the model creation process.

The software help systems have been designed to allow a new user to quickly be up and solving problems. A comprehensive user’s manual, verification manual, theory manual and tutorial manual allow reasonable documentation of all features. The software has been exposed to a rigorous quality assurance program and has been verified on over 100 comparisons to models with published solutions.

The new SVSLOPE® package continues in the tradition of innovation with:

  • Search Algorithms: a comprehensive array of sophisticated search algorithms to determine the location of the critical slip surface including the dynamic programming and Greco search methods.
  • Statistical Methods: a comprehensive statistical methods such that the end-user can determine normal distributions of the factor of safety as well as the probability of failure.
  • Unsaturated Soils: easy analysis of conditions where rain infiltration in unsaturated soils can trigger slope instability. Several methods of accounting for unsaturated shear strength are also implemented.
  • New Analysis Methods: The dynamic programming method as implemented in the SVDYNAMIC® software (and originally presented by Ha and Fredlund, 2002) has been implemented and improved in SVSLOPE®. A new finite element based method of slope stability analysis has also been implemented (Gitirana and Fredlund, 2008).
  • Improvements: an advanced method for designating an empirical inter-slice force functions based on finite element analyses has been implemented (Wilson and Fredlund, 1983).
  • Integration: integration with the SVFLUX™ (seepage) and the SVSOLID™ (stress/deformation) finite element software packages allows analysis to be performed using details stress conditions or considering the detailed effects of positive and negative pore-water pressures. Full climatic coupling can be accounted for when coupling with the SVFLUX software package.
  • User interface: a sleek and simple user interface allows state-of-the-art CAD design of numerical models as well as vivid presentations of results.

It has been 11 years since the formation of SoilVision Systems Ltd. around the knowledge-based unsaturated soils database package. The original database package put SoilVision Systems Ltd. “on the map” as it greatly simplified the application of unsaturated soil technologies for routine geotechnical engineering practice.

SOILVISION®, SVSLOPE®, SVFLUX™, SVSOLID™ and SVDYNAMIC™ are registered trademarks of SoilVision Systems Ltd.

About SoilVision Systems Ltd.

SoilVision Systems Ltd. was formed in 1997 by Murray Fredlund, Ph.D., P.Eng. to provide high level software tools to meet the needs of geo-professionals modelling the behavior of complex saturated and unsaturated soil systems.