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Landslide analysis of unsaturated soil slopes based on rainfall and matric suction data

  • Oswaldo Augusto Filho
  • Mariana Alher Fernandes
Case history
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Abstract

Shallow slope failures that occur as a result of a decrease in matric suction after water infiltration from intense rains (unsaturated soil conditions) are the main causes of slope instability in tropical and subtropical regions. This study analyzes the occurrence of shallow landslides in a highway cutting of residual soil originating from aeolian sandstone. Characterization of failure mechanisms and stability analyses have been carried out in different scenarios and supported by surface and subsurface investigations, instrumentation and monitoring of rainfall, matric suction, and water level, field tests, and laboratory tests. The results indicate that the reduction in matric suction induced by rainwater infiltration is the triggering mechanism of slope failure. Conventional slope stability analyses and analyses incorporating unsaturated seepage models present results compatible with the hydrological and geotechnical data collected in the study. On the basis of these analyses, and considering the frequent rainfall events in the study area, a critical geometric configuration is proposed for the triggering of landslides in highway cutting slopes of residual soils of aeolian sandstone.

Keywords

Slope stability analysis Apparent cohesion Seepage under unsaturated conditions Geotechnical and hydrogeotechnical parameters Residual sandy soils Highway 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Brazilian research funding agencies FAPESP (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo) and CAPES (Coordenação de Aperfeiçoamento de Pessoal de Nível Superior).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest regarding the publication of this paper.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of GeotechnicsUniversity of São Paulo, São Carlos School of EngineeringSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Universidade Tecnológica Federal do ParanáCuritibaBrazil

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