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This work was dedicated to assessing reliability of slope stability in earthen dams following rapid drawdown. Modeling of the problem physics was based on saturated-unsaturated seepage flow through the nonlinear Richards equation, under the assumption of two-dimensional approximation in steady state and transient state. The modeling of seepage taking place inside the earth dam infill materials included soil parameters, the negative pore water pressure-hydraulic conductivity relationship as well as the negative pore water pressure-volumetric water content. Slope stability was analyzed by using safety factor as evaluated by the Bishop's simplified method. Solution of the governing equations in terms of pore water pressure and fluid flow velocity was performed by using the modules SEEP/W and SLOPE/W of the Finite Element based software package GeoStudio. The drawdown phenomenon was then analyzed and its influence on dam stability assessed by using surface response method and Monte Carlo simulation. A design formula was proposed in order to bound the probability of failure associated to slope stability.

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World experiences reveal that catastrophic floods are posing a serious threat that comes not only from them as extreme events but also as the result of adaptation measures uncertainty, (i.e. dikes). In particularly old dikes constructed earliest at the north part of Albania, during the last floods demonstrated the high uncertainty and weak spots. In this paper, the significance of the seepage investigation and stability analysis are discussed. As a case study, parts of new dikes constructed last years along the Buna River located in north part of Albania are investigated. Filling materials for these dikes are represented mostly from silt and clay. Finite element method is used to perform seepage analysis while general limit equilibrium method is used to perform slope stability analysis. Both, seepage and slope stability analyses are done for three different scenarios: steady state, rapid filling, and rapid drawdown. Finally, it is concluded that silt-clay material used in these dike structure is posing serious uncertainty during seepage phenomenon by threatening the stability of entire dike structure especially during the transient condition (rapid filling and drawdown).

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Scheuer 1979 ; Szabó 2003 ), as was previously believed that a rapid drawdown following a high river stage causes landslides (e.g.,  Horváth and Scheuer 1976 ). On the contrary, the river’s role is twofold: on the one hand, especially during high water

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