Drained shear strength parameters for analysis of landslides

Timothy D. Stark, Hangseok Choi, Sean McCone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper presents recommendations for selecting the type and magnitude of drained shear strength parameters for analysis of landslides. In particular, the importance, existence, and use of the cohesion shear strength parameter is reviewed. For slope stability analyses, it is recommended that the shear strength be modeled using a stress dependent failure envelope or a friction angle that corresponds to the average effective normal stress acting on the slip surface passing through that particular material instead of using a combination of cohesion and friction angle to represent soil shear strength. Other recommendations for stability analyses include using an effective stress cohesion of zero for residual and fully softened strength situations. To facilitate selection of shear strength parameters for landslide analyses, empirical relationships for the drained residual and fully softened strengths are updated from the previous empirical relationships presented by Stark and Eid. Finally, the paper presents torsional ring shear test results that indicate that pre-existing shear surfaces exhibit self-healing that results in increased shear resistance. The magnitude of healing appears to increase with increasing soil plasticity, and this increase could have implications for the size, timing, and cost of landslide remediation. Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-588
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2005


  • Landslides
  • Overconsolidated clays
  • Remedial action
  • Shear strength
  • Slope stability
  • Soil mechanics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • General Environmental Science


Dive into the research topics of 'Drained shear strength parameters for analysis of landslides'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this