Slope Stability and Monitoring

Academic year
Subject Area
Geological and Mining Engineering
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
2nd Cycle Studies - Mestrado

Recommended Prerequisites

 Knowledge of  Engineering Geology and Soil Mechanics. 

Teaching Methods

 Lectures with exposure of the subject to be taught.
- Lectures for solving exercises involving the analysis of slope stability and the results of instrumentation.
- Visits to ongoing works which were designed / implemented techniques for stabilization of slopes.

Learning Outcomes

Each student should carry out  detailed knowledge about:
- Understanding of the main movements of instability that may occur on the slopes.
- Ability to perform geotechnical characterization and the design of slopes.
- Knowledge of various types of instrumentation used in geotechnical works.
- Ability to prepare instrumentation plans and definition of reading programs.
- Interpretation of geotechnical characterization data and the results instrumentation.
- Easy communication with elements of a working team as well as with people who do not have expertise in the area of geotechnics.
- Application of the knowledge and ability to adapt to situations occurring in geotechnical works.

Work Placement(s)



Study of natural, excavation and landfill slopes. Classifications of types of instability and its evolution. Geological and geotechnical studies) natural slopes and slopes in the design phase and b) slopes with instability. Planning and adequacy of campaigns geotechnical studies. Ruptures analysis methods in rock and soil. Deterministic analysis and safety factor. Works of stabilization. Objectives of observation and instrumentation. Notion of global risk index. Measurement displacements, stresses, groundwater levels, flow rates and forces. Characteristics of instrumentation equipment: shallow spots, piezometers, type  USBR batteries, inclinometers, total stress cells, strain gauges, convergenciometers and topographical 3-dimensional system (Monmos system) .Instrumentation and observation planes in embankment dams, natural slopes, foundations in piles, underground structures and support. Security control. Determination readings "in situ" from inclinometers and piezometers.

Head Lecturer(s)

Pedro Gomes Cabral Santarém Andrade

Assessment Methods

Report of a seminar or field trip: 10.0%
Mini Tests: 10.0%
Resolution Problems: 15.0%
Laboratory work or Field work: 15.0%
Exam: 25.0%
Frequency: 25.0%


- Hoek, E. & Bray J. W. (1981) – Rock Slope Engineering.Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, London.
- Sêco e Pinto, P. S. (1987) - Observação de barragens de aterro. LNEC.
- Giani, G. P. (1992) - Rock slope stability analysis. CRC Press, 374 pp.
- Dunnicliff, J. (1994) - Geotechnical instrumentation for monitoring field measurements. Wiley, 608 pp.
- TRB (1996) – Landslides. Investigation and Mitigation.
- Wyllie, D. C. and Mah, C. W. (2004) – Rock Slope Engineering. Spon Press, 431 pp.
- Highland, L. M. and Borowsky, P. (2008) – O Manual de Deslizamento – Um Guia para a Compreensão de Deslizamentos. USGS (United States Geological Survey), GFDRR (Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recover), The World Bank 156 pp.
- NP EN 1997-1 (2010) – Eurocódigo 7. Projecto geotécnico. Parte 1: Regras gerais. Norma Portuguesa.
- Pohll, G. M. et al. (2013) – Design Guidelines for Horizontal Drains used for Slope Stabilization. WA-RD 787-1, WSDOT Research Report, 377 pp.