A Rigorous Variant of the Shear Strength Reduction Method and Its Usage in Slope Stability

Stanislav Sysala*, Eva Hrubešová, Zdeněk Michalec, Franz Tschuchnigg

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference paperpeer-review


The shear strength reduction method (SSRM) is a standard method in slope stability enabling to determine the factor of safety and related failure zones. In case of the non-associated Mohr-Coulomb model, the method can oscillate with respect to the refinement of a finite element mesh. To suppress this drawback, the non-associated model is approximated by the associated one such that the strength parameters are reduced by using a function depending on a scalar factor and on the effective friction and dilatancy angles. This modification (MSSRM) can be easily implemented in commercial codes like Plaxis or Comsol Multiphysics. Next, an optimization approach to the modified SSRM (OPT-MSSRM) is introduced. It is shown that the optimization problem is well-defined and can be analyzed by variational principles. For its solution, a regularization method is combined with mesh adaptivity and implemented in Matlab. The SSRM, MSSRM and OPT-MSSRM methods are compared on numerical examples representing a case study of a real heterogeneous slope.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChallenges and Innovations in Geomechanics - Proceedings of the 16th International Conference of IACMAG - Volume 3
EditorsMarco Barla, Alessandra Insana, Alice Di Donna, Donatella Sterpi
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-12851-6
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Event16th International Conference on Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics: IACMAG 2022 - Hybrider Event, Torino, Italy
Duration: 30 Aug 20222 Sep 2022

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Civil Engineering
Volume288 LNCE
ISSN (Print)2366-2557
ISSN (Electronic)2366-2565


Conference16th International Conference on Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics
CityHybrider Event, Torino
Internet address


  • Convex optimization
  • Davis approach
  • Finite element method
  • Shear strength reduction method
  • Slope stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering


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