The influence of slope geology on landslide occurrence during extreme rainfall

David Muddle, Kevin Briggs, Claire Dashwood, Tom Dijkstra

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Abstract

Extreme rainfall events, seasonal weather extremes and long term climate change present a threat to the stability of natural and engineered slopes by altering slope hydrology and shear strength beyond recent historical values.
The temporal and spatial fluctuation of slope wetting and drying in response to weather event sequences can be represented using a surface water balance approach of rainfall infiltration and potential evapotranspiration, such as a soil moisture deficit calculation (SMD). This provides an opportunity to address the regional susceptibility of slopes to become unstable when exposed to adverse weather event sequences. However, case studies have shown that site specific characterisation of foundation geology (e.g. permeability and shear strength) is required to assess the vulnerability of specific slopes to pore water pressure fluctuations and slope failure during extreme weather events.
The relationship between underlying geology and landslide incidence during extreme weather extremes is illustrated by comparing long term weather data, soil moisture deficit calculations and geological information using a database of over 400 UK land-slide events that occurred between 2004 and 2014.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationXVI European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, 2015
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2015
EventXVI European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, 2015 - Edinburgh, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 13 Sep 201517 Sep 2015

Conference

ConferenceXVI European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, 2015
CountryUK United Kingdom
Period13/09/1517/09/15

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    Muddle, D., Briggs, K., Dashwood, C., & Dijkstra, T. (2015). The influence of slope geology on landslide occurrence during extreme rainfall. In XVI European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering, 2015