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Volume 2018, Article ID 1859285, 14 pages
Research Article

A Simplified Solution for Calculating the Phreatic Line and Slope Stability during a Sudden Drawdown of the Reservoir Water Level

1State Key Laboratory of Geomechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, Institute of Rock and Soil Mechanics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Wuhan, Hubei 430071, China
2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
3College of Civil Engineering & Architecture, China Three Gorges University, Yichang 443002, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Yongtao Yang; moc.621@chhucs

Received 21 June 2017; Revised 6 September 2017; Accepted 8 January 2018; Published 6 February 2018

Academic Editor: Qinghui Jiang

Copyright © 2018 Guanhua Sun et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


On the basis of the Boussinesq unsteady seepage differential equation, a new simplified formula for the phreatic line of slopes under the condition of decreasing reservoir water level is derived by means of the Laplacian matrix and its inverse transform. In this context, the expression of normal stress on the slip surface under seepage forces is deduced, and a procedure for obtaining the safety factors under hydrodynamic forces is proposed. A case study of the Three Gorges Reservoir is used to analyze the influences of the water level, decreasing velocity and the permeability coefficient on slope stability.