Report on the 2nd International Symposium on Seismic Performance and Design of Slopes on 18–22 January 2020 in Edinburgh, U.K.
Last Updated:2021/8/17 14:24:44


On January 18-22, 2020, the 2nd International Symposium on Seismic Performance and Design of Slopes (ISSPDS-Edinburgh-2020, has been held in Edinburgh, U.K. Through Keynote Lectures, Invited Lectures and Regular Presentations, this symposium has successfully provided a platform for academic scientists, leading engineers, and students to exchange and share their experiences and research results in field of seismic performance and design of slopes.


Organizers and organizing committee

This symposium was hosted by The University of Edinburgh, U.K., and supported by Tongji University, China, the International Consortium on Geo-disaster Reduction (ICGdR) and the UNESCO Chair on Geo-environmental Disaster Reduction.

The Organizing Committee of this symposium includes:

Chair Person: Jin Sun (The University of Edinburgh, U.K.).

Vice Chair Persons: Yu Huang (Tongji University, China) and Fawu Wang (Shimane University, Japan).

The Secretariat of this symposium includes Chongqiang Zhu, Yankai Li, Yang Cui, Thomas Barker.


Report of the ISSPDS-Edinburgh-2020

The 2nd International Symposium on Seismic Performance and Design of Slopes (ISSPDS-Edinburgh-2020) has been focused on the themes of “Uncertainty sources of seismic design of slopes”, “Dynamic behaviors of slope subjected to earthquake”, “Performance-based seismic design method of slopes”, “Prospect to the seismic design of slopes in future” and “Practice of seismic design in major slope project”. The symposium attracted more than 50 scholars and engineers from United Kingdom, China, Japan, Italy, Canada, Russia, Cyprus, United States, Iraq, Turkey, Germany, etc. to deliver about 30 high-quality academic presentations in the field of seismic performance and design of slopes. There are three major sessions in this symposium: Keynote Lectures, Invited Lectures and Regular Presentations, offering opportunities to discuss the most recent advances on seismic performance and design of slopes. In addition to the main sessions of the symposium, pre-event and post-event have also been organized.


On January 19, 2020, the council meeting of the Committee on Seismic Performance-based Design for Resilient and Sustainable Engineering was held at Salisbury Arms, Edinburgh. Prof. Yu Huang, the chairman of the ICGdR Committee on Seismic Performance-based Design for Resilient and Sustainable Engineering, delivered an opening address to introduce background, objectives and organization of the committee. During the meeting, the committee members summarized works related to formulating international standard for seismic design of slope in past two years. Moreover, the working plan for the next two years was also discussed at the end of the council meeting.

Plenary sessions of the ISSPDS-Edinburgh-2020

Open ceremony

Dr. Jin Sun, the chairman of the ISSPDS-Edinburgh-2020, facilitated the open ceremony. Three speeches were presented as the prelude (see Fig. 1). At the beginning, Prof. Conchúr Ó Brádaigh, the head of School of Engineering, The University of Edinburgh, declared the conference to open on behalf of the organizer, and delivered an opening speech to welcome all the distinguished scholars and experts from all over the world. Then Prof. Yu Huang, who was representing co-organizer of Tongji University, introduced the background of International Symposium on Seismic Performance and Design of Slopes and expressed his hope that this symposium could provide a platform for researches and engineers to exchange and share their experiences and latest research results. In the last greeting speech given by Prof. Fawu Wang, the Director-General of the ICGdR, introduced the International Consortium on Geo-disaster Reduction and UNESCO Chair on Geoenvironmental Disaster Reduction, welcomed all the researchers and expressed his gratitude to the organizers. The opening ceremony ended up with a group photo as shown in Fig. 2.

Fig. 1 Opening speech presented by (a) Prof. Conchúr Ó Brádaigh, (b) Prof. Yu Huang, (c) Prof. Fawu Wang

Fig. 2 Group photo of participants of the ISSPDS-Edinburgh-2020


Keynote lectures

The Keynote Lectures included 6 presentations in 3 sessions as summarized in Table 1. The first section was chaired by Dr. Jin Sun and Dr. Elisabeth Bowman. Firstly, Prof. Atsushi Yashima presented a quantitative probabilistic safety assessment (PSA) of existing ground-anchored slope during earthquake using the residual tensile force of ground anchor (Yashima et al. 2019). The second keynote lecture from Prof. Nico Gray introduced recent progress in modelling frictional hysteresis with a simple depth-averaged model that differs fundamentally from standard geophysical mass flow models (Edwards et al. 2019; Edwards et al. 2017). The second section of Keynote Lectures was chaired by Prof. Yu Huang and Prof. Nico Gray. Prof. Fawu Wang took two earthquake-induced landslides (i.e. landslides in Atsuma-cho, Hokkaido and another landslide in Shimane) to explore the motion mechanism and consider the countermeasures (Zhang et al., 2019). Dr. Elisabeth Bowman introduced the Rosetta stone International network on experimental debris flow modelling and further presented her recent achievements of physical modelling testing using particulate approaches. The third section of Keynote Lectures was chaired by Prof. Atsushi Yashima and Prof. Zixin Zhang. Pof. Xinli Hu proposed an experimental method of the reservoir landslide & piles system under long-term water-level fluctuations, which includes the design of physical model and multi-field monitoring system. This platform can be referenced to design the physical model test under water-level fluctuations and the monitoring can provide multi-field data to understand the deformation mechanism and long-term stability of reinforced reservoir landslides. Prof. Yu Huang systematically summarized the latest developments of performance-based design regarding the seismic performance evaluation of slopes (Xiong and Huang 2019). Moreover, he offered a perspective with regard to performance levels, earthquake ground motion, nonlinear dynamic analysis, stochastic reliability, and future research directions, and established a new generation framework for the performance-based design of slopes.

The titles of presentations of Keynote Lectures are list in Table 1. Figure 3 shows photos of each presenter during Keynote Lectures.


Table 1 Lists of the presentation in Keynote Lectures






Probabilistic safety assessment of existing ground-anchored slope during earthquake

Atsushi Yashima

Gifu University


Frictional hysteresis in geophysical mass flows

Nico Gray

University of Manchester


Rapid and long runout landslides triggered by earthquake: motion mechanism and countermeasure

Fawu Wang

Shimane University


The experimental modelling of debris flows: project Rthosetta & particulate approaches

Elisabeth Bowman

University of Sheffield


Novel perspective of seismic performance-based evaluation and design for resilient and sustainable slope engineering

Yu Huang

Tongji University


Evolution characteristics of reinforced landslide under long-term water-level fluctuations by physical model test

Xinli Hu

China University of Geosciences (Wuhan)


Fig. 3 Keynote lectures presented by (a) Prof. Atsushi Yashima, (b) Prof. Nico Gray, (c) Prof. Fawu Wang, (d) Dr. Elisabeth Bowman, (e) Prof. Yu Huang, (f). Prof. Xinli Hu


Invited lectures and regular presentations

After keynote lectures, both invited lectures and regular presentations were conducted. There were 10 invited lectures and 12 regular lectures. The topics are related to uncertainty sources of seismic design of slopes, dynamic behaviors of slope subjected to earthquake, performance-based seismic design method of slopes, practice of seismic design in major slope project, etc. The details of presentations are listed in Tables 2 and Table 3.


Table 2 Lists of the presentation in Invited Lectures






Simulation-aided optimal design approach for rockfall protection walls

Shuji Moriguchi

Tohoku University


Geological space sensing technology of low altitude remote sensing and its application in hybrid reality

Chun Liu

Tongji University


Dynamic behavior of piles with different configurations subjected to slope deformation induced by seismic liquefaction

Wuwei Mao

Tongji University


A morphological visualization method for seismic slope stability analysis

Zixin Zhang

Tongji University


Development of a machine learning model for slope failure prediction

Cheng His Hsiao

Taiwan University in Chinese Taipei


Stochastic seismic analysis of geosynthetic-reinforced soil slopes based on probability density evolution method

Ming Peng

Tongji University


Reynolds dilatancy coincides with two separate transport mechanisms in sheared amorphous packings

Hu Zheng

Tongji University


Stability assessment of cohesive slopes subject to seismic action accounting for tension cracks

Stefano Utili

Newcastle University


Coseismic landslides induced by the 2018 Mw 6.6 Iburi, Japan, Earthquake: spatial distribution, key factors weight, and susceptibility regionalization

Ming Chang

Chengdu University of Technology


Use of instability curves for the assessment of post-liquefaction stability and deformation of sloping grounds

Domenico Lombardi

University of Manchester


Table 3 Lists of the regular presentations






Failure mechanism of slope subjected to seismic effect combined with consequent rainfall

Zhenkun Yang

University of Shanghai for Science and Technology


Mechanical characteristics of anchored slide-resistant piles in landslides with weak-hard interbedding strata bedrock

Guihua Wang

China University of Geosciences (Wuhan)


Performance-based seismic slope stability evaluation of earth dams using different fragility approaches

Miao Yu

China University of Geosciences (Wuhan)


Study on resonance features of a rock slope based on numerical simulation and physical modeling test

Hanxiang Liu

Chengdu University of Technology


The research on long-term performance analysis and optimum design of

anchored slope

Min Xiong

Tongji University


Design & practice of seismic shaking table for high-rise structure models

Mohammad Javed Shadan

Ryerson University


Preliminary study on the mechanism of bedding slope failure triggered by Vehicle vibration

Jian Huang

Chengdu University of Technology


Exploring the seismic responses of the coral slopes on the insular shelf of Xisha Islands in South China Sea by seismic noise recordings

Zhen Guo

Tongji University


Failure mechanism and stability analysis of soil slope under earthquake quasi-static force based on the maximum strength

Kangfu Jiao

Central South University


Research on the application of corrugated cylinder metal energy dissipation device in rock shed engineering

Dongpo Wang

Chengdu University of Technology


On the initiation and movement mechanisms of a catastrophic landslide triggered by the 2008 Wenchuan (Ms 8.0) earthquake in the epicenter area

Shenghua Cui

Chengdu University of Technology


Numerical performance assessment and centrifuge modeling of slope reinforced by pile-anchor structure under seismic loading

Xi Xu

Tongji University


Award ceremony

The awards included the “Best Paper Award” and “Young Researcher Award”. Shenghua Cui, Hanxiang Liu, Zhen Guo, Guihua Wang, Zhenkun Yang were awarded the “Best Paper Award”. Xi Xu, Min Xiong, Jian Huang, Kangfu Jiao, Dongpo Wang, Miao Yu were awarded “Young Researcher Award”. Prof. Atsushi Yashima, Prof. Nico Gray, Prof. Fawu Wang and Dr. Elisabeth Bowman presented certificates to recipients.

Closing session

Dr. Jin Sun, on behalf of organizer, gave a closing speech to review the symposium and appreciation to all the delegates.


Part of participants joined the field geological survey of Edinburgh area. Dr. Chongqiang Zhu introduced the history and geological conditions of Edinburgh area during the field trip.



The 3rd International Symposium on Seismic Performance and Design of Slopes will be held in Tohoku University in March 2022. The Chairman of organizing Committee, Dr. Shuji Moriguchi (Fig. 4) introduced their plan for this symposium and history of Sendai, Japan. The organizers welcome all entities and individuals to participate this symposium.

Fig. 4 Chairman of Organizing Committee (Dr. Shuji Moriguchi) for the 3rd International Symposium on Seismic Performance and Design of Slopes



The ISSPDS-Edinburgh-2020 successfully provided an opportunity for international scholars to present state-of-the-art achievements in seismic performance and design of slopes from different aspects including field survey, monitoring, physical model tests, numerical simulation, etc. This symposium allows scholars to better appreciate and understand the key issues, future development directions and potential challenges in seismic performance and design of slopes. Hence, the ISSPDS-Edinburgh-2020 would be of milestone significance in seismic performance and design of slopes and is expected to inspire future works in this field.


(Reported by Chongqiang Zhu (University of Edinburgh, U.K., Tongji University, China), Jin Sun (University of Edinburgh, U.K.), Yu Huang (Tongji University, China) and Fawu Wang (Tongji University, China)