What is the difference in failure slip surface between slopes with cohesive and granular materials?

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When cohesive strength is zero (i.e. slopes of granular types), the slip surface is of shallow failure type and is parallel to the slope surface.

When friction angle is zero (i.e. slopes of clayey types), the slip surface is if deep seated failure. The factor of safety of slopes is nearly independent of the angle of slopes because the weight of deep seated failure regime is much greater than the slope.


Normally, non-circular failure surface is always more critical than circular one for two dimensional analysis.

This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

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