A Systematic Review of Physical Modelling Techniques, Developments and Applications in Slope Stability Analyses

Tiyamike Haundi, Felix Okonta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An extensive evaluation of published articles suggests a lack of research on a systematic literature review relating to physical modelling techniques, developments and application in slope stability studies. However, there is growing interest in using physical model tests in slope stability investigations. The present study systematically reviews the methodologies and applications of physical modelling in slope stability research. The Scopus database was used to identify relevant studies which employed physical model tests in slope stability investigations. A combination of fifteen keywords was used to identify relevant articles. A PRISMA-P method for conducting a systematic review was adopted. Articles were screened and analysed, and extracted data were re-organised using an Excel sheet. Data relating to research objectives, physical model test techniques, instrumentation, scaling laws, numerical modelling, results, and findings were extracted and analysed. The systematic review highlights gaps requiring further studies, particularly in slope reinforcements using vegetation and strength deterioration of reinforcements performance under repeated loading exposures. It is found that scholars have not fully addressed the influence of loss of water on pore water regimes and its impact on stability when vegetation is applied as reinforcements. It is also found that the development of slope materials for soil slopes in physical model tests relies on the artificial development of such materials with minimal consideration of their long-term behaviour. Although other options, such as bio-cementation and desiccation techniques, which simulate the natural environment of the slopes, are neglected in slope material development, the present study recommends that future studies consider such techniques.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIndian Geotechnical Journal
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2024


  • Geotechnical centrifuge
  • Numerical modelling
  • Physical modelling
  • Shaking table
  • Slope stability
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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