Public Release of SVOFFICE 2009™ – Next Generation Geotechnical Software

Timely release of software introduces elasto-plastic stress analysis, coupled analysis, and a new slope stability analysis product

SASKATOON, September, 2008 - SoilVision Systems Ltd. has implemented significant technical upgrades with the release of SVOFFICE 2009™. The improvements can generally be characterized as improvements to the finite element packages as well as the integration of the new SVSLOPE® slope stability software into the suite of geotechnical tools. The SVSLOPE software represents a new paradigm of solving slope stability models with an appropriate blend of traditional method of slices analysis as well as new critical slip surface (CSS) searching techniques and stress-based solution methodologies. The feature list of the SVSLOPE software is extensive and makes it a technologically advanced slope stability software package.

Significant upgrades to the coupling abilities of the software and the addition of the elasto-plastic stress models in the SVSOLID™ stress-deformation package form the core of the improvements. Numerous (or a multitude of) of small improvements are also implemented. The improvements provide substantial improvements to the software and greatly enhance the ability of SVOffice to handle coupled models. Couplings between flow (SVFLUX™) and contaminant transport (CHEMFLUX™) are provided along with the coupling of heat flow (SVHEAT™) and air-flow (SVAIRFLOW™). Additional couplings include the coupling of the water phase and stress analysis in order to perform a consolidation analysis. Specifically the following major features are added to the finite element software:

  • Coupling of water flow, thermal gradients, and air-flow
  • Support for elasto-plastic stress models (Von Mises, Mohr-Coulomb, Druker-Praeger) is added in the 1D, 2D, and 3D finite element implementations
  • Coupling of water flow and contaminant transport
  • Handling of density-dependant flow
  • Coupling of stress and water flow to solve consolidation problems

The addition of the SVSLOPE® software package to the SVOFFICE 2009™ software suite offers significant abilities in performing slope stability calculations. 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, 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.. The features of Dynamic Programming are now a part of the more extensive SVSLOPE package.

SVSLOPE® was programmed as a completely new software package. The driving motive was to provide a fresh new outlook on 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 in SVOFFICE 2009™ 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 naturally guided 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 SVSLOPE software has been exposed to a rigorous quality assurance program and has been verified on over 100 comparisons with published solutions.

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

i) 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,
ii) 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,
iii) Spatial Variability: generation of random fields of soil properties aids in improving the calculation of factor of safety based on spatial variability of soil properties.
iv) 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 implemented.
v) 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. Enhanced (Kulhawy) methods of analysis have also been implemented.
vi) Improvements: an advanced method for designating an empirical inter-slice force functions based on finite element analyses has been implemented (Wilson and Fredlund, 1983).
vii) Integration: integration with the SVFLUX (seepage) and the SVSOLID (stress/deformation) finite element software packages allows analysis to be performed using detailed stress conditions as well as the detailed effects of positive and negative pore-water pressures. Climatic coupling can be accounted for when coupling with the SVFLUX software package.
viii) 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. The SoilVision knowledge-based system continues to provide a comprehensive set of procedure for the evaluation and estimation of unsaturated of unsaturated soil property functions.

SVOFFICE 2009™ is a trademark of SoilVision Systems Ltd.

SVSlope® is a registered trademark of SoilVision Systems Ltd.

SoilVision® is a registered trademark 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 attempting to model the behavior of complex saturated and unsaturated soil systems.