Dynamic sliding of tetrahedral wedge: The role of interface friction

D. Bakun-Mazor, Y. H. Hatzor, S. D. Glaser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The role of interface friction is studied by slow direct shear tests and rapid shaking table experiments in the context of dynamic slope stability analysis in three dimensions. We propose an analytical solution for dynamic, single and double face sliding and use it to validate 3D-DDA. Single face results are compared with Newmark's solution and double face results are compared with shaking table experiments performed on a concrete tetrahedral wedge model, the interface friction of which is determined by constant velocity and velocity stepping, direct shear tests. A very good agreement between Newmark's method on one hand and our 3D analytical solution and 3D-DDA on the other is observed for single plane sliding with 3D-DDA exhibiting high sensitivity to the choice of numerical penalty value. The results of constant and variable velocity direct shear tests reveal that the tested concrete interface exhibits velocity weakening. This is confirmed by shaking table experiments where friction degradation upon multiple cycles of shaking culminated in wedge run out. The measured shaking table results are fitted with our 3D analytical solution to obtain a remarkable linear logarithmic relationship between friction coefficient and sliding velocity that remains valid for five orders of magnitude of sliding velocity. We conclude that the velocity-dependent friction across rock discontinuities should be integrated into dynamic rock slope analysis to obtain realistic results when strong ground motions are considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)327-343
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 25 Feb 2012


  • DDA
  • Newmark's analysis
  • Rate and state friction
  • Rock slope stability
  • Shaking table
  • Tetrahedral wedge

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • General Materials Science
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Mechanics of Materials


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