Sustainability, Vol. 16, Pages 5127: Failure Mechanisms and Protection Measures for Expansive Soil Slopes: A Review

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Sustainability, Vol. 16, Pages 5127: Failure Mechanisms and Protection Measures for Expansive Soil Slopes: A Review

Sustainability doi: 10.3390/su16125127

Authors: Peng Luo Min Ma

Due to the significant hydrophilicity and cracking properties of expansive soils, expansive soil slopes are prone to destabilization and landslides after rainfall, seriously threatening the safety of buildings, highways, and railroads. Substantial economic losses often accompany the occurrence of expansive soil slope disasters; thus, it is of great significance to understand the slope failure mechanisms experienced by expansive soil slopes and to prevent expansive soil slope disasters. In this paper, the current research status of the landslide failure mechanism of expansive soil slopes is systematically reviewed based on three research methods: field test, model test, and numerical simulation. The failure mechanisms of expansive soil slopes and the main influencing factors are summarized. Based on the failure mechanisms, three protection principles (waterproofing and water blocking, swelling–shrinkage deformation limitation, and crack inhibition and strength enhancement) that can be followed for disaster prevention of expansive soil slopes are proposed. The research status and advantages and disadvantages of these protection methods are reviewed, and future researchable directions of the stability of expansive soil slopes and slope protection methods are explored. Based on the previous work, a new flexible ecological slope protection system with a double waterproof layer is proposed for expansive soil slopes to realize ecological, efficient, and long-term protection. This paper thus aims to provide technical reference for the prevention and control of slope engineering disasters in expansive soil areas.

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