Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering

Degree Level



Civil Engineering


Barry, Michelle

Committee Member/Reader

Coffman, Richard


Slope failures cost millions of dollars per year to repair and can be deadly. Accurate modeling of slope conditions, including soil parameters, water table locations, and depth to bedrock, are essential to determining the overall stability of a slope. This project is a continuation of the work completed in 2019 by a former University of Arkansas researcher, Vanessa LeBow. LeBow RocScience used Slide2 modeling software to model two highway embankment slopes in Northwest Arkansas that experienced slope movement to determine whether increased use of geophysical data could increase the accuracy of slope stability models. A parametric study of shear strengths for likely failure surface was utilized by LeBow, finding that the FOS and overall slope stability changed greatly depending on the estimated strength of an interface of highly weathered shale, clay, and intact bedrock. To understand the accuracy of the shear strength data utilized in the parametric study, rock cores from one of the two sites, located near Ozark, Arkansas, were tested in modified direct shear tests. The results presented herein provide guidance for the shear strength of the weathered shale bedrock to help understand the accuracy of the shear strength estimates utilized in LeBow’s study. Results from other models of the Ozark site are presented to predict the overall slope stability conditions on site during the installation of soil anchors during repairs on the site.


Geotechnical Engineering, Direct Shear Test, Slope Stability