Stability analysis of sea cliffs in the coastal zone of Baía Formosa / Rio Grande do Norte State – Brazil

Olavo Santos, Carlos de Souza Jr, Ada Christina Scudelari, Osvaldo de Freitas Neto, Venerando Amaro, Slobodan Mickovski

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The coastal region of the state of Rio Grande do Norte (RN), in northeastern Brazil, is formed by dunes and cliffs that, according to previous works, have suffered a process of retreat. Destabilization of the cliffs results from the erosive action at their base due to the attack of the waves and sea currents as well as mass movements associated with rainfall in the rainy season. The aim of this study was at analyze the cliff stability in the area of Baía Formosa/RN. The
area was divided into four stretches. For each stretch, cross sections were obtained. Undisturbed and disturbed soil samples were taken for testing along the length of the studied area. Characterization and direct shear tests were performed to classify the soil and to obtain the strength properties, respectively. The stability analyses were performed using a commercially available software (GEO 5®)) using the FEM. The results are shown by graphs presenting the variation of the factor of safety along each stretch studied. With this, it was possible to identify the most critical areas with respect the occurrence of the mass movement.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationFrom Fundamentals to Applications in Geotechnics
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 15th Pan-American Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering
EditorsD. Manzanal, A.O. Sfriso
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-61499-603-3
ISBN (Print)978-1-61499-602-6
Publication statusPublished - 2015


  • sea cliffs
  • slope stability


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