In geotechnical engineering, the term slope commonly refers to a soil mass with its surface inclined to the horizontal, and there exist both natural and man-made slopes.
Natural slopes are those that exist in nature and are formed by natural causes. Such slopes exist In hilly areas. The sides of cutting, the slopes of embankments constructed for roads, railway lines, canals etc and the slopes of earth dams constructed for storing water are examples of manmade slopes.
Importance of stability of slopes
Slope stability is an extremely important consideration in the design and construction of earth dams. The stability of the natural slope is also important. It is essential to check the stability of earth slopes since their failure may lead to loss of life and property.