Volume 22, Issue 2 (June 1999)
Instrumentation of an Unsaturated Residual Soil Slope
The stability of slopes has become a major concern in areas that experience frequent periods of heavy rainfall such as the tropical areas of Southeast Asia. Previous research has indicated that rainfall has a detrimental effect on the stability of residual soil slopes. The reason for this is that the additional shear strength that exists in unsaturated soils due to negative pore-water pressures is lost as a result of rainwater infiltration into the soil.
To study the infiltration characteristics in slopes, a residual soil slope in Singapore was instrumented. The instruments were used to determine the changes in the pore-water pressure distribution throughout the slope in response to evaporation and infiltration. Tensiometers were used to measure negative pore-water pressures, piezometers were used to measure the groundwater level, and a rain gage was used to measure rainfall intensities on the slope. An automated data acquisition system was used to collect the data from the slope. This paper describes the instrumentation program and the procedures associated with the installation of the instruments into the slope. Typical measurement data collected from the slope are presented, and their interpretations are discussed.