Learn about Q-slope!

Gecko Geotechnics has developed a mobile phone application for empirically assessing the stability of rock slopes using Q-slope.

To download a copy of the Q-slope mobile phone application visit the Google Play App Store using your Android smartphone or tablet (click here to go to the Google Play App Store).

A user manual for the Q-slope mobile phone application can be downloaded here.

Q-slope Mobile Phone Application Screenshots
Q-slope Mobile Phone Application Screenshots

The Q-slope method provides a simple yet effective empirical means of assessing the stability of excavated rock slopes in the field. Intended for use in reinforcement-free road or rail cuttings or individual benches in open cast mines, Q-slope allows geotechnical engineers to make potential adjustments to slope angles as rock mass conditions become apparent during construction. Through case studies in South-East Asia, Australia, Central America and Europe, a simple correlation between Q-slope and long-term stable slopes was established. Q-slope is designed such that it suggests stable, maintenance-free bench-face slope angles of for instance 40-45º, 60-65º and 80-85º with respective Q-slope values of approximately 0.1, 1.0 and 10. Q-slope was developed by supplementing the Q-system which has been extensively used for characterizing rock exposures, drill-core, and tunnels under construction for the last 40 years. The Q’ parameters (RQD, Jn, Ja & Jr) remain unchanged in Q-slope. A new method of Jr/Ja ratios for both sides of potential wedges, using relative orientation weightings is presented. The term Jw, which is now termed Jwice, takes into account long-term exposure to various climatic and environmental conditions (e.g. intense erosive rainfall, ice-wedging effects). Slope relevant SRF categories for slope surface conditions, stress-strength ratios and major discontinuities such as faults, weakness zones or joint swarms have also been incorporated.

The Q-slope method was first introduced at the ISRM Regional Symposium – Eurock 2015 in Salzburg, Austria (7-10 October 2015). A copy of the original publication is available on Onepetro – Barton, N., & Bar, N. 2015. Introducing the Q-slope Method and its Intended use Within Civil and Mining Engineering Projects. International Society for Rock Mechanics.

Q-slope application
Q-slope mobile phone application user manual

In addition to Q-slope, Gecko Geotechnics has developed a mobile phone application for the Q-System: Designing Ground Support for Underground Excavations and Tunnels.

Related articles include:

2020. Bar, N & Barton, NR, ‘Q-slope addressing ice wedging and freeze-thaw effects in arctic and alpine environments’, Proceedings of the ISRM International Symposium Eurock 2020 – Hard Rock Engineering, Trondheim, Norway.

2019. Barton, NR, & Bar, N, ‘The Q-Slope Method for Rock Slope Engineering in Faulted Rocks and Fault Zones’, Proceedings of the 14th International Congress of Rock Mechanics, Iguassu Falls, Brazil. View

2018. Bar, N & Barton, NR, ‘Q-Slope: An Empirical Rock Slope Engineering Approach in Australia‘, Australian Geomechanics Journal, Vol 53(4), pp73-86, AGS. View

2018. Barton, NR, Shen, B & Bar, N, ‘Limited heights of vertical cliffs and mountain walls linked to fracturing in deep tunnels – Q-slope application if jointed slopes’, Proceedings of ISRM VIII Brazilian Symposium on Rock Mechanics – SBMR 2018, Salvador, Brazil.  View

2018. Bar, N & Barton, NR, ‘Rock Slope Design using Q-slope and Geophysical Survey Data’, Periodica Polytechnica Civil Engineering, Vol62(4). View

2017. Bar, N & Barton, NR, ‘The Q-Slope Method for Rock Slope Engineering’, International Journal of Rock Mechanics & Rock Engineering, Vol 50(12), pp3307-3322, Springer-Verlag, Vienna, Austria. View

2016. Bar, N, Barton, NR & Ryan, CA, ‘Application of the Q-slope method to highly weathered and saprolitic rocks in Far North Queensland’, Proceedings of the 2016 International Symposium Eurock 2016, Cappdocia, Turkey. View

2016. Bar, N & Barton, NR, ‘Empirical slope design for hard and soft rocks using Q-slope’, Proceedings of the 50th US Rock Mechanics / Geomechanics Symposium, ARMA 16-384, Houston, Texas, United States of America. View

2015. Barton, NR & Bar, N, ‘Introducing the Q-slope method and its intended use within civil and mining engineering projects‘, Future Development of Rock Mechanics, Proceedings of the ISRM Regional Symposium Eurock 2015 & 64th Geomechanics Colloquium, pp157-162, Salzburg, Austria. View

Latest Q-slope news:

Follow the Q-slope project on ResearchGate (RG) and stay up to date: https://www.researchgate.net/project/Q-slope

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Mining & Civil Construction