Influence of rainfall-induced wetting on the stability of slopes in weathered soils

Jaehong Kim, Sangseom Jeong, Seongwan Park, Jitendra Sharma

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

180 Citations (Scopus)


Shallow failures of slopes in weathered soil are caused by infiltration due to prolonged rainfall. These failures are mainly triggered by the deepening of the wetting band accompanied by a decrease in matric suction induced by the water infiltration. This paper reports trends of rainfall-induced wetting band depth in two types of weathered soils that are commonly found in Korea. Both theoretical and numerical analyses for wetting band depth are presented based on the soil-water characteristic curve obtained using filter paper as well as tensiometer tests. It is found that the magnitude of wetting front suction plays a key role in the stability of slopes in weathered soils. Theoretical analysis based on modified Green and Ampt model tends to underestimate the wetting band depth for typical Korean weathered soils. It was also deduced that for Korean weathered soils, the factor of safety drops rapidly once the wetting band depth of 1.2 m reached.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-262
Number of pages12
JournalEngineering Geology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Nov

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology


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