, Volume 1, Issue 1, pp 7–19 | Cite as

Undrained dynamic-loading ring-shear apparatus and its application to landslide dynamics

  • Kyoji Sassa
  • Hiroshi Fukuoka
  • Gonghui Wang
  • Naohide Ishikawa
Original Paper


Landslides are gravitational mass movements of rock, debris or earth. Some move very slowly, thus conforming to the field of statics, but some move rapidly. Study of the initiation and motion of rapid landslides needs to develop “Landslide Dynamics” involving dynamic loading and dynamic generation/dissipation of excess pore-water pressure. New developments in science can be facilitated by new technological advances. This study aimed to develop a new apparatus that can geotechnically simulate the formation of the shear zone and the following long and rapid shear displacement that occurs in high-velocity landslides. Professor K. Sassa and his colleagues at DPRI (Disaster Prevention Research Institute), Kyoto University, have worked to develop an undrained dynamic-loading ring-shear apparatus for this purpose. A series of different types of apparatus (DPRI-3, 4, 5, 6, 7) have been developed from 1992 to the present. This paper describes the development of this apparatus and its application to the study of earthquake-induced landslides and the latest landslide-triggered debris flow in Japan. Also, tests of the latest version (DPRI-7) with a transparent shear box for direct observation of the shear zone during a rapid shearing are described.


Ring-shear test Landslide dynamics Earthquake-induced landslides Landslide-triggered debris flows Undrained loading 



The first attempt to design and fabricate an undrained dynamic-loading ring-shear apparatus was conducted with the support of Scientific-Grant-in-Aid (No: 03556021) of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Japan in 1992 (Sassa 1994). This apparatus was designated as DPRI-3. The system and the testing procedures were improved during PhD studies by Dr. Zieaoddin Shoaei and Dr. Fawu Wang, and by others at DPRI, Kyoto University. DPRI-5 and DPRI-6 were developed by means of financial support from the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Japan, for earthquake-disaster mitigation research after the Hyogo-Ken Nanbu earthquake of Japan in 1995, Japan. Apparatus DPRI-7 was developed with support from the project, “Areal Prediction of Earthquake and Rain Induced Rapid and Long-traveling Flow Phenomena” (APERIF), of the Special Coordinating Fund for Promoting Science and Technology of the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan (MEXT). This project was approved as a project of the International Programme on Landslides (IPL) by the International Consortium on Landslides (ICL) as IPL M-101 APERITIF project. These supports from MEXT and ICL are properly appreciated. Thanks also go to all colleagues of the Research Centre on Landslides of the DPRI of Kyoto University for their cooperation on this study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kyoji Sassa
    • 1
  • Hiroshi Fukuoka
    • 1
  • Gonghui Wang
    • 1
  • Naohide Ishikawa
    • 1
  1. 1.Disaster Prevention Research InstituteKyoto University, GokashoUji KyotoJapan

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