Timely release of software introduces a new paradigm in slope stability analysis

SASKATOON, May 24, 2011 – SoilVision Systems Ltd. continues on the path of technical excellence with the full release of the SVSlope® 3D slope stability software package. This release marks the end of the extensive beta testing period. Over 100 beta testers lent their time and experience to the refinement process during the beta testing stage. Multiple rounds of web-meetings and email-exchanges with beta testers led to five new releases of the software code since September, 2010, when the beta version was released. Each new release addressed issues in the software or added new features which users requested. Some of the more prominent features implemented include:

  • Eurocode 7 support for SVSlope® 3D
  • 3D visualization improvements related to results
  • Multi-wedge critical slip surface trial patterns
  • 2D slice visualization of 3D model results
  • Slicing of 3D models into 2D cross-sections for 2D analysis
  • Entry and exit searching method implemented in 3D

Development continues on the software with focus areas being directed by user requests.

Feedback from beta testers has been positive with modelers finding the software easy to install and begin creating modeling results. The beta-testing stage has been considered a significant success.

Over 23 benchmarks have now been solved by the SVSlope® 3D software and more are being added on a continual basis. The software is considered stable and robust and ready for application to typical geotechnical consulting situations.

Pre-sales to beta testers have already begun. Introductory offers are available for users interested in analyzing their slope stability problems with SVSlope® 3D. Perpetual, annual, or multi-user network licenses are now available for purchase.

What is SVSlope® 3D?

The package represents a blend of classic method of columns analysis methods with a comprehensive 3D CAD-based graphical environment for full 3D model creation as well as 2D and 3D visualization of results. The software extends current analysis capabilities with the implementation of 3D effective stress or total stress rapid draw-down analysis, comprehensive 3D anchor/reinforcement and distributed and point-load analysis as well as unsaturated slopes analysis. The software is the results of many years of effort by a world-class team of slope stability and software experts. The sophisticated new software is fully integrated with existing SVFlux™ and SVSolid™ software packages and includes a sleek and simple user interface with state-of-the-art graphical representation of results.

SVSlope® 3D is software for performing deterministic analysis of the stability of soil or rock slopes. The results can be presented in terms of a factor of safety. The software interface is simple to use but allows the analysis of complex geometries coupled with groundwater seepage. Comprehensive support for reinforced slopes and external loadings is also present. Specific highlighted benefits of the software are as follows:

  • 3D analysis provides more theoretically pure analysis
  • Comprehensive 3D – CAD environment for easy creation and manipulation of 3D models
  • Easy switching from a 2D to 3D analysis or vice versa
  • 3D software includes SVSlope® 2D – the most comprehensive 2D slope stability analysis software currently available
  • 3D analysis of anchor / support systems opens new markets
  • 3D analysis of applied point or distributed loads opens new markets
  • Rapid drawdown analysis by the total stress (Duncan/Wright 3-stage method) or effective stress (coupled with 3D SVFlux™ seepage models) methods
  • Confidence of heavily benchmarked software
  • Extensive help systems allow easy adoption of the software
  • Comprehensive analysis of unsaturated slopes (Four unsaturated strength models)
  • Integrated with market – leading SVFlux™ seepage analysis software for analysis of rapid draw-down scenarios or unsaturated climatic-influenced seepage analysis in 3D
  • Coupling with SVFlux™ allows effective-stress analysis of steady-state or transient-state scenarios
  • 14 different analysis methods including classic method of slices such as (Bishop, Janbu, Spencer, Morgenstern-Price, GLE, and others)
  • Coupled unsaturated steady-state or transient seepage analysis is available when combined with the SVFlux™ software
  • Support for 14 different soil strength models including (Mohr-Coulomb, Hoek-Brown, Undrained, Anisotropic, Bilinear, Frictional-Undrained, and four unsaturated shear strength models)
  • Representation of dry or wet tension cracks
  • Comprehensive visualization of results in 2D slices through model or complete 3D visualization

Development Vision

SVSlope® 3D was programmed as a completely new software package. The driving motive was to provide a fresh new outlook at slope stability analysis. The software is programmed entirely on the innovative Microsoft .NET development environment and fully implements sophisticated and new object-oriented programming concepts. The new software technology allows speedy implementation of further new and innovative slope stability concepts.

The user interface on the new package is designed to allow the user to quickly create models accurately and efficiently. Compliance with standard methods of user interface design allows convenient access to software commands through toolbars or right-click menus. Standard CAD-type functionality is available with grid, snapping, and object snapping features. The menu system is laid out in a logical left-to-right and top-top bottom package. In other words, if the user proceeds in a logical manner through the menu system they will be guided naturally through the model creation process. Creation of 3D models is consistent with existing standards used in the SVFlux™ and all other 3D model creation programs currently available in the SVOffice® 2009 geotechnical software suite.

The software help systems have been designed to allow a new user to quickly be up and solving problems. A comprehensive user's manual, verification manual, theory manual and tutorial manual allow reasonable documentation of all features. A series of training videos have been made available to help users get started. The software has been exposed to a rigorous quality assurance program and has been verified on a number of comparisons to models with published solutions.

The geometry paradigm in SVSlope® 3D allows the creation of geo-strata as stacked surfaces which form layers. Surface intersections and layer pinch-outs may be represented in the geometry. Surfaces may be formed by grids which may be simple or complex in nature. The geometry paradigm in SVSlope® 3D is supported in all of our 3D packages. Therefore the same model can be flipped from SVSlope® 3D to SVFlux™ 3D, SVSolid™ 3D, or any of our other packages for further analysis. The user may also easily create 3D models based on extrusions from any 2D models currently existing in our software.

Anchors or reinforcements have typically been represented in 2D packages in a pseudo-3D fashion because any anchor in 2D is inherently a plate in a 3D analysis. SVSlope® 3D allows true 3D analysis of anchor or reinforcement systems. Single anchors or groups of anchors can be entered as penetrating multiple soil layers at any angle. The same types of anchors supported in SVSlope® 2D are also supported in the 3D package.


The new SVSlope® 3D package continues in the tradition of innovation with:

  • 3D Analysis: Theoretically more pure 3D limit equilibrium analysis
  • User interface: a sleek and simple 3D user interface allows state-of-the-art CAD design of numerical models as well as vivid presentations of results. Extrusion of 3D models based on 2D profiles greatly simplifies model creation
  • Unsaturated Soils: easy analysis of conditions where rain infiltration in unsaturated soils can trigger slope instability. Several methods of accounting for unsaturated shear strength are implemented
  • Integration: integration with the SVFlux™ (seepage) finite element software packages allows analysis to be performed considering the detailed effects of positive and negative pore-water pressures. Full climatic coupling can be accounted for when coupling with the SVFlux™ software package
  • Anchors: 3D analysis of anchor / support systems
  • Rapid Drawdown: Rapid drawdown analysis in 3D by the total stress (Duncan/Wright 3-stage method) or effective stress (coupled with 3D SVFlux™ seepage models) methods

It has been 14 years since the formation of SoilVision Systems Ltd. around the knowledge-based unsaturated soils database package. The original database package put SoilVision Systems Ltd. “on the map” as it greatly simplified the application of unsaturated soil technologies for routine geotechnical engineering practice.

SoilVision® is a registered trademark of SoilVision Systems Ltd.

SVSlope® is a registered trademark of SoilVision Systems Ltd.

About SoilVision Systems Ltd.

SoilVision Systems Ltd. was formed in 1997 by Murray Fredlund, PhD, PEng to provide high level, software tools to meet the needs of geo-professionals attempting to model the behavior of complex saturated and unsaturated soil systems.