The paper describes a slope failure in granular colluvium, together with its geomorphological, seismic and geotechnical setting. The predictions from conventional geotechnical slope stability analyses, taking into account topography, pore pressure and seismic effects, are compared with the observed pattern of instability. It is concluded that the failure was a flow slide and resulted from a combination of factors. Geotechnical limit equilibrium stability analyses of entire slopes are rarely able to predict the smaller-scale initiation events leading to flow slides, because these are controlled by local topography, ground and groundwater conditions. Nor are they able to predict the speed and run-out of such slides.

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