Multi-scale chemo-mechanical analysis of the slip surface of landslides in the Three Gorges, China
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- Zhao, Y., Cui, P., Hu, L. et al. Sci. China Technol. Sci. (2011) 54: 1757. doi:10.1007/s11431-011-4370-8
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Multi-scale chemo-mechanical effects and microscopic failure modes are explored in the evolution of strength change of slip surface. Direct shear equipments, scanning electro-microscope and X-ray diffraction are used to trace the change in strength of remodeled soils of slip surfaces in the Three Gorges area. Results show that there is a release of alkali metals and concentration of clay minerals on the surface. During the tests, potassium ions were released, the cementation was reduced, and the ratio of interlayer minerals varied associated with strength change. Accordingly, illites or montmorillonite-illite mixtures turned into montmorillonite. So the strength change originates from the release of alkali metal ions on molecular scale that leads to the concentration and transition of clay minerals on meso-scale. The evolution of slip surface and soil strength is a typical process involving multi-scale processes of structure changes and chemo-mechanical coupling.