The papercompares six methods ofslicescommonly ~ ~ s for e dslopestability analysis. The factor
of safety equations are written in the same form, recognizing whether moment and (or) force
equilibrium is explicitly satisfied. The normal force equation is of the same form for all methods
with the exception of the ordinary method. The method of handling the interslice forces differen
tiates the normal force equations.
A new derivation for the MorgensternPrice method is presented and is called the 'bestfit
regression' solution. It involves the independent solution of the force and moment equilibrium
factors of safety for various values of A. The bestfit regression solution gives the same factor of
safety as the 'NewtonRaphson' solution. The bestfit regression solution is readily com
prehended, giving a complete understanding of the variation of the factor of safety with A.
L'article presente Line comparaison des six methodes de ttmches ~~tilisees coummment pour
I'analyse de la stabilite des pentes. Les e q ~ ~ a t i o ndes
s facteurs de s e c ~ ~ r isont
t e ecrites selon la
m h e forme, en montrant si les conditions d'equilibre de moment ou de force sont satisfaites
explicitement. L'Cquation de la force normale est de la m h e forme pour toutes les methodes B
I'exception de la methode des tranches ordinaires. La f a ~ o de n traiter les forces intertranches est
ce qui diffirencie les equations de force normale.
Une nouvelle derivation appelee solution "bestfit regression" de la mkthode de Morgens
ternPrice est presentee. Elle consiste B determiner independemment les facteurs de secu
rite satisfaisant aux equilibres de force et de moment ~ O Ldiffirentes
I ~ valeurs de A. La solu
tion "bestfit regression" donne les m h e s facteurs de securiti de la solution de NewtonRaph
son. La solution "bestfit regression" est plus facile a comprendre et donne Line image detaillee
de la variation du facteur de securite avec A.
[Traduit par la revue]
Can. Geotech. J.. 14,429 (1977)

WATER.
. AR
FIG. 1. Forces acting for the method of slices applied to a composite sliding surface.
1 Q = RESULTANT INTERSLICE
FORCE
1"
'L6
NOTE: QR51S NOT EQUAL
A N D OPPOSITE TO
Q ~ 6
The normal force can be derived from 181 + ul tan Fql' sin cr
and then the horizontal interslice force is ob
tained from [9]. The horizontal force equilibrium equation
is used to derive the factor of safety (i.e.
[lo] P =
[W  (ER  EL) tan 0 11 11). The sum of the interslice forces must
cancel and the factor of safety equation
becomes
c'l sin a:
F
+ ul tan Fql' sin a11% C{c'l cos a + (P  zrl) tan 4' cos a )
[14] F , =
C P s i n a + CIcW+ A  L cos w
Spencer (1967) derived two factor of safety
equations. One is based on the summation of F,, is used to designate the factor of safety
moments about a common point and the other uncorrected for the interslice shear forces.
on the summation of forces in a direction
parallel to the interslice forces. The moment
equation is the same as for the ordinary and
the simplified Bishop methods (i.e. [4]). The
factor of safety equation is the same as [5].
The factor of safety equation based on
force equilibrium can also be derived by
summing forces in a horizontal direction.
The corrected factor of safety is are set to zero. For subsequent iterations,
the interslice forces are computed from the
sum of the moments about the center of the
Janbu's Rigorous Method base of each slice.
Janbu's rigorous method assumes that the
[17] C M , = 0
point at which the interslice forces act can
be defined by a 'line of thrust'. New terms XLb/2 + X R b / 2  EL [ t , + ( b / 2 ) tan a]
used are defined as follows (see Fig. 4 ) :
t , , tn = vertical distance from the base of the + ER [ t , + (b/2) tan a  b tan a,]  kW11/2 = 0
slice to the line of thrust on the left and right After rearranging [ I 71, several terms become
sides of the slice, respectively; at = angle negligible as the width b of the slice is reduced
between the line of thrust on the right side of to a width dx. These terms are (X,:  XT.)b / 2 ,
a slice and the horizontal. (E,:  E , ) ( b / 2 ) tan and ( E l :  E,)b
The normal force on the base of the slice tan 0,.Eliminating these terms and dividing by
is derived from the summation of vertical the slice width, the shear force on the right side
forces. of a slice is
[18] XR = E R tana,  ( E R  EL)t R / b
+ ( k W / b )( h / 2 )
 d l sin a
F
+ ul tan F4' sin a The horizontal interslice forces, required
for solving [18], are obtained by combining
The factor of safety equation is derived the summation of vertical and horizontal
from the summation of horizontal forces (i.e. forces on each slice.
[ I 1 1 ) . Janbu's rigorous analysis differs from
the simplified analysis in that the shear forces [19] ( E R  EL) = [ W  ( X R  X L ) ] t a n a
are kept in the derivation of the normal force.
The factor of safety equation is the same as
Spencer's equation based on force equilibrium The horizontal interslice forces are obtained
(i.e. [ 1 2 ] ) . by integration from left to right across the
In order to solve the factor of safety equa slope. The magnitude of the interslice shear
tion, the interslice shear forces must be forces in [I91 lag by one iteration. Each
evaluated. For the first iteration, the shears iteration gives a new set of shear forces. The
vertical and horizontal components of line
loads must also be taken into account when
they are encountered.
MorgensternPrice Method
The MorgensternPrice method assumes an
arbitrary mathematical function to describe
the direction of the interslice forces.
1.20
1.15
SINE CURVE
*
I
1.10
W
LL
a
'" 1.05
LL
X 0
[L
FIG. 6. Side force designation for the Morgenstern
Price method. 1.00
2
normal forces to each slice. The force equilib
rium equations were combined and then the 0.95
NewtonRaphson numerical technique was
used to solve the moment and force equations
for the factor of safety and A. 0.9C
In this paper, an alternate derivation for
the MorgensternPrice method is proposed.
The solution satisfies the same elements of FIG. 7. Variation of the factor of safety with re
spect to moment and force equilibrium vs. X for the
statics but the derivation is more consistent MorgensternPrice method. Soil properties: c1/fl1=
with that used in the other methods of slices. 0.02; $' = 40"; r, = 0.5. Geometry: slope = 26.5";
It also presents a complete description of the height = 100 ft (30 m ) .
FREDLUND AND KRAHN
13

BEDROCK
iteration. The moment and force equilibrium From a theoretical standpoint, the derived
factors of safety are solved for a range of h factor of safety equations differ in (i) the
values and a specified side force function. equations of statics satisfied explicitly for the
These factors of safety are plotted in a manner overall slope and (ii) the assumption to make
similar to that used for Spencer's method the problem determinate. The assumption used
(Fig. 7). The factors of safety vs. h are fit by changes the evaluation of the interslice forces
a second order polynomial regression and the in the normal force equation (Table 1 ). All
point of intersection satisfies both force and methods, with the exception of the ordinary
moment equilibrium. method, have the same form of equation for
Comparison of Methods of Analysis the normal force.
All methods of slices satisfying overall
moment equilibrium can be written in the
same form. c'l 
sin 111 tan 4'  sin
a + a
   
C d l + ~ C(P  ul)R tan 4'
A
[22] F" = F F
CWx  CPf +
CkWe Aa + Ld +
where rn, = cos N +
(sin a tan (p') /F.
All methods satisfying overall force equilib It is possible to view the analytical aspects
rium have the following form for the factor of of slope stability in terms of one factor of
safety equation: safety equation satisfying overall moment
equilibrium and another satisfying overall
Cc'l cos a + C ( P  ul) tan 4' cos E force equilibrium. Then each method becomes
1' F f = x p s i n c t + x k ~ + ~  ~ c o s oa special case of the 'bestfit regression' solu
The factor of safety equations can be tion to the MorgensternPrice method.
visualized as consisting of the following com TABLE 1. Comparison of factor of safety equations
ponents :
Factor of safety based on
Moment Force
eauilibriuni equilibrium Moment Force Normal
equili equili force
Cohesion Zc'lR Zc'l cos cc Method brium brium equation
Friction C(Prd)R tan +' C(Pul) tan +' cos a PI
Weight C ws  Ordinary or Fellenius x
Normal CPf CP sin ci Simplified Bishop x [61
Earthquake Ck We CkW Spencer's x x DO1
Partial Janbu's simplified x U31
submergence Aa A Janbu's rigorous x [I61
Line loading Ld L cos o MorgensternPrice x x [241
436 CAN. GEOTECH. J. VOL. 14, 1977
Morgenstern
Price method
Simplified Spencer's method Janbu's Janbu's f(x) = constant
Case Ordinary Bishop simplified rigorous
no. Example problem* method method F 0 X method method** F X
1 Simple 2:1 slope, 40 1.928 2.080 2.073 14.81 0.237 2.041 2.008 2.076 0.254
ft (12 m) high,
4' = 20°, c' = 600
psf (29 kPa)
2 Same as 1 with a thin, 1.288 1.377 1.373 10.49 0.185 1.448 1.432 1.378 0.159
weak layer with
4' = lo0, c' = 0
3 Same as 1 e x c e ~with
t 1.607 1.766 1.761 14.33 0.255 1.735 1.708 1.765 0.244
r, = 0.25
4 Same as 2 except with
r., = 0.25 for both
materials
5 Same as 1 except with 1.693 1.834 1.830 13.87 0.247 1.827 1.776 1.833 0.234
a piezometric line
6 Same as 2 except with 1.171 1.248 1.245 6.88 0.121 1.333 1.298 1.250 0.097
a piezometric line
for both materials
*Width of slice is 0.5 ft (0.3 m) and the tolerance on the nonlinear solutions is 0.001.
**The line of thrust is assumed at 0.333.
Figure 8 shows an example problem in of safety based on overall force equilibrium
volving both circular and composite failure are far more sensitive to the side force
surfaces. The results of six possible combina assumption.
tions of geometry, soil properties, and water The relationship between the factors of
conditions are presented in Table 2. This
is not meant to be a complete study of
the quantitative relationship between various
methods but rather a typical example.
The various methods (with the exception
of the ordinary method), can be compared by
plotting factor of safety vs. A. The simplified
Bishop method satisfies overall moment equi
BISHOP
librium with h = 0. Spencer's method has h
equal to the tangent of the angle between the
horizontal and the resultant interslice force.
Janbu's factors of safety can be placed along
the force equilibrium line to give an indication
of an equivalent h value. Figures 9 and 10
show comparative plots for the first two cases
shown in Table 2.
The results in Table 2 along with t h o ~ e '' 1 /
v
95
+ SPENCER
'  MORGENSTERN  PRICE
f ( x ) = CONSTANT
from other comparative studies show that the
factor of safety with respect to moment equi
librium is relatively insensitive to the inter
slice force assumption. Therefore, the factors
190v
, 85 1 ORDINARY = 1 928
TABLE
3. Comparison of two solutions to the MorgensternPrice method**
2.00 I I I I I I 0.14 I I I I I I
+  SPENCER /
1 95 1 MORGENSTERN  PRICE
 f ( x ) = CONSTANT +
/ I
/ /
x  f (x) = SINE
A  f ( x ) = CLIPPED SlNE
190
METHOD OF ANALYSIS
FIG. 1 3 . Time per stability analysis trial for all
methods of analysis.
FIG. 11. Effect of side force function on factor of proximately 9 % . However, as shown above,
safety for case 3 .
this difference does not significantly affect the
final factor of safety.
MORGENSTERNPRICE Comparison of Computing Costs
 f ( x ) = CONSTANT
x  f (x)= SlNE A simple 2 : 1 slope was selected to compare
Af ( X I = CLIPPED SINE the computer costs (i.e. CPU time) associated
with the various methods of analysis. The
slope was 440 ft long and was divided into
5ft slices. The results shown in Fig. 13 were
obtained using the Univeristy of Saskatchewan
SLOPE program run on an IBM 370 model
158 computer.
The simplified Bishop method required
0.012 min for each stability analysis. The
ordinary method required approximately 60%
as much time. The factor of safety by Spencer's
method was computed using four side force
angles. The calculations associated with cach
side force angle required 0.024 min. The factor
of safety by the MorgensternPrice method was
computed using six h values. Each trial required
FIG. 12. Effect of side force function on factor of 0.021 min. At least three estimates of the side
safety for case 4. force angle or x value are required to obtain
the factor of safety. Therefore, the Spencer or
computer program by less than 0.7%. Using MorgensternPrice methods are at least six
the University of Saskatchewan program, the times as costly to run as the simplified Bishop
Spencer method and the MorgensternPrice method. The above relative costs are slightly
method (for a constant side force function) affected by the width of slice and the tolerance
differ by less than 0.2%. The average h values used in solving the nonlinear factor of safety
computed by the two programs differ by ap equations.
FREDLUND AND KRAHN 439