Design of the nomogram is based on effective stress and combines consolidation theory as applicable to depositional environments with the infinite-slope model of slope-stability analysis. The link between the two combined theories is a term representing the effective overburden stress, which may be predicted from consolidation theory and a knowledge of sedimentation rate, time, and the coefficient of consolidation. In turn, if infinite-slope conditions are assumed to exist, the effective overburden stress can be used to derive a factor of safety against static slope failure by using the angle of internal friction and the slope angle. The nomogram applies to depostitional settings in which fine-grained sediment has accumulated at a relatively constant rate upon a base that is essentially impermeable. The model further assumes that the lateral extent of sediment affected by any mass movement will be great compared to its thickness and that no outside agents (e.g., cements, gas) are influencing the section. The nomogram is applicable to static conditions (inherent stability of the slope) and certain dynamic conditions (such as earthquakes). It may be used to investigate mass movements in the geologic past as well as those in modern environments.--Modified journal abstract.

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