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Title: Clayey Landslide Initiation and Acceleration Strongly Modulated by Soil Swelling
Authors: Schulz, William H.
Smith, Joel B.
Wang, Gonghui
Jiang, Yao
Roering, Joshua J.
Author's alias: 王, 功輝
Keywords: landslide
swell pressure
Issue Date: 28-Feb-2018
Publisher: American Geophysical Union (AGU)
Journal title: Geophysical Research Letters
Volume: 45
Issue: 4
Start page: 1888
End page: 1896
Abstract: Largely unknown mechanisms restrain motion of clay‐rich, slow‐moving landslides that are widespread worldwide and rarely accelerate catastrophically. We studied a clayey, slow‐moving landslide typical of thousands in Northern California, USA, to decipher hydrologic‐mechanical interactions that modulate landslide dynamics. Similar to some other studies, observed pore‐water pressures correlated poorly with landslide reactivation and speed. In situ and laboratory measurements strongly suggested that variable pressure along the landslide's lateral shear boundaries resulting from seasonal soil expansion and contraction modulated its reactivation and speed. Slope‐stability modeling suggested that the landslide's observed behavior could be predicted by including transient swell pressure as a resistance term, whereas modeling considering only transient hydrologic conditions predicted movement five to six months prior to when it was observed. All clayey soils swell to some degree; hence, our findings suggest that swell pressure likely modulates motion of many landslides and should be considered to improve forecasts of clayey landslide initiation and mobility.
Rights: ©2018. The Authors. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution‐NonCommercial‐NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non‐commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.
DOI(Published Version): 10.1002/2017GL076807
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