SVSLOPE® now brings the Slope Search trial slip surface generation method to three-dimensional analysis, in addition to the existing support that is already available for two-dimensional models. In comparison to the other available 3D trial slip surface generation methods -- such as Entry and Exit, or Grid and Tangent -- Slope Search is an easier to use, higher level method that requires less knowledge about where the sliding mass is likely to be located along the sliding direction. The only required inputs are the horizontal extents of the area to search within, and the range of ellipsoid aspect ratios to generate.
While the Entry and Exit search method is well suited to models in which the range of possible sliding surface entry and exit locations is known (e.g., when the slope crest and toe are clearly the entry and exit locations), Slope Search will treat the entire specified extents as both a possible entry and exit location. It generates trial slip surfaces of randomly varying sizes throughout the search area. One example of a situation where this is useful is when the slope has a complex, varying shape, rather than being a straight decline -- in this case, it is important to search for local sliding surfaces along the slope instead of just treating the entire slope as a sliding surface. In cases where the slope straightens part-way down, for example, the critical sliding surface may enter or exit at the localized straight section (see the figure). Slope Search is capable of finding this surface, while an approach such as Entry and Exit search would require multiple separate analysis attempts, one for each local slope section.
If you would like more information on this feature, feel free to contact us directly.