In view of the clay slope instability caused by environmental temperature and rainfall infiltration in summer and autumn, the mechanism of the effect of temperature and saturation on unsaturated clay slope stability was discussed. To achieve this objective, this study uses the theoretical and numerical methods. Based on the theory of unsaturated clay and the law of heat conduction, the relationship between cohesion and matrix suction of unsaturated clay was derived considering the influences of temperature and saturation. Considering the effect of temperature and saturation, the coupling equation of shear strength of unsaturated clay was constructed under conditions of rainfall infiltration. The coupling equation of temperature and saturation was used in the strength reduction method, and the slope stability was analysed by FLAC software. The results show that the cohesion of unsaturated clay slope increases with the increase of depth, and the safety factor considering the coupled effect of temperature and saturation is smaller than that without considering the temperature effect; the clay slope is unstable considering the coupled effect of temperature and saturation, but stable without considering the coupled effect when the saturation of soil reaching 80%.

Thematic collection: This article is part of the Role of water in destabilizing slopes collection available at: https://www.lyellcollection.org/cc/Role-of-water-in-destabilizing-slopes

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