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Residual Shear Strength Measured by Laboratory Tests and Mobilized in Landslides

Mesri, Gholamreza
Huvaj Sarıhan, Nejan
Drained residual shear strength measured by multiple reversal direct shear or ring shear tests has been successfully used for over four decades for stability analyses of reactivated landslides in stiff clays and clay shales; A body of literature has accumulated in recent decades, claiming that "healing" or "strength regain" is realized in time on preexisting slip surfaces already at residual condition. In other words, the shear stress required to reactivate a landslide is claimed to be larger than the drained residual shear strength determined using laboratory tests. This article presents (1) a comparison of secant residual friction angle determined from laboratory tests and secant mobilized friction angle back-calculated for reactivated landslides; (2) explanations that field evidence used to claim "healing" can be attributed to alternative factors, and the laboratory evidence on "strength regain" upon reshearing is the result of either the testing apparatus or testing procedure, or is inapplicable to stiff clays and shales; and (3) laboratory aging test results, which show no "strength regain" on preexisting shear surfaces at residual condition. DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)GT.1943-5606.0000624. (C) 2012 American Society of Civil Engineers.