The reliable numerical simulation of the landslide process contributes to the establishment of evidence-based disaster mitigation measures in seismically active zones. To achieve this goal, a simple and unified state-dependent shear strength model of discontinuities is presented to describe the shear strength degradation in a seismic landslide process. The proposed model establishes a relationship between the shear strength parameters and the global safety factor of the slope by assuming that the slope instability (or landslide initiation) is accompanied by an instantaneous shear strength degradation of discontinuities. To realize the model numerically, the algorithms for the computation of global safety factor and the modification of shear strength parameters were incorporated into the discontinuous deformation analysis (DDA). Subsequently, the kinematic accuracy of the improved DDA method was validated by comparisons with theoretical solutions for the dynamic sliding of a block on an inclined plane. Numerical simulations of the Daguangbao landslide triggered by the Wenchuan earthquake were performed using the improved DDA method. The results illustrate that the shear strength degradation of discontinuities affect the evolution process, travel distance, and post-failure shape of the seismic landslide significantly.
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