- 3D Surface Wedge Analysis for Slopes


SWedge is a quick, interactive, and easy-to-use analysis tool for evaluating the geometry and stability of surface wedges in rock slopes. Wedges are defined by intersecting discontinuity planes, the slope surface, and an optional tension crack. SWedge provides an integrated graphical environment for fast, easy data entry and 3D model visualization.


  • Slope plane / upper face
  • Slope height, length, bench width
  • overhanging slope
  • Metric or imperial units
  • Eurocode design standards


  • Two sliding planes (tetrahedral wedges)
  • Optional basal joint plane (pentahedral wedges)
  • Shear strength – Mohr-Coulomb, Barton-Bandis, Power Curve
  • Waviness angle
  • Import planes from Dips

Tension Crack

  • Optional tension crack plane
  • Arbitrary orientation
  • Location – user-defined or automatic
  • Wedge Size
  • Scale wedge size by slope height, slope length, bench width, trace length, persistence, wedge weight, volume
  • Truncate wedge with tension crack
  • Persistence analysis (probabilistic)
  • Minimum wedge size

Probabilistic Analysis

  • Statistical distributions – normal, uniform, triangular, beta, exponential, lognormal, gamma
  • Fisher distribution for joint orientations
  • Histogram, cumulative and scatter plots
  • Import joint set statistics from Dips
  • Monte Carlo or Latin Hypercube simulation
  • Random or pseudo-random sampling
  • Shear strength – define variability of mean strength envelope or individual strength parameters
  • Correlation coefficient for cohesion and friction angle
  • Best fit distribution, regression line
  • Highlight failed wedges on plots
  • Filter wedges by sliding mode
  • Probability of failure, reliability index

Combination Analysis

  • Unlimited number of joints
  • Analyze all possible combinations
  • Find minimum safety factor wedges
  • Import joints from Dips
  • View results on histogram, scatter plot, stereonet

Sensitivity Analysis

  • Determine effect of individual variables on safety factor
  • Multiple variables on one plot
  • Vary strength of all joints simultaneously

Persistence Analysis

  • Randomly vary wedge height and/or joint persistence
  • Allowable persistence determines if wedge can form

Bench Analysis

  • Optimize bench design for open pit mines


  • Rock bolts
  • Shotcrete
  • Pressure
  • Active or passive support
  • Optimize bolt orientation
  • Calculate support force for required safety factor


  • Water pressure on joints
  • Seismic coefficient
  • External forces
  • Pressure (surcharge or support)

Stereonet View

  • Plot great circles, poles
  • Show joint intersections
  • Highlight failed data
  • Equal angle / equal area

Import from Dips

  • Import mean planes
  • Import joint set statistics (probabilistic analysis)
  • Import all planes (combination analysis)

Analysis Results

  • Sidebar information panel
  • Info Viewer analysis summary
  • One-click export of data and charts to Excel

Viewing Options

  • 3D wedge view
  • Interactively rotate, zoom, pan
  • Move wedge along sliding planes
  • Customize display options
  • Export image files

  • Slope Stability
  • Mining
  • Rock

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