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Landslides

, Volume 14, Issue 4, pp 1503–1512 | Cite as

Shear wave velocity imaging of landslide debris deposited on an erodible bed and possible movement mechanism for a loess landslide in Jingyang, Xi’an, China

  • Jianbing Peng
  • Gonghui WangEmail author
  • Qiyao Wang
  • Fanyu Zhang
Technical Note

Abstract

The South Jingyang Plateau, with a total area of 70 km2, is located in Shaanxi Province, China. Since 1976, more than 50 landslides of different types have occurred repeatedly on the edge slopes of the plateau due to the start of diversion irrigation on the plateau, resulting in great loss of lives and property. To better understand the initiation and movement mechanisms of these loess landslides, we surveyed them and carried out a detailed investigation of a large landslide in the Xihetan area. Our field survey results revealed that although most of these landslides had a long runout with high mobility, most of the landslide materials originating from the edge slopes may have been in an unsaturated state when the landslide occurred. This suggests that the materials at the toe of the edge slope as well as on the travel path along the river terrace might have played a key role in landslide movement. To examine how the materials on the travel path were involved in the landsliding, we used a multichannel surface wave technique and surveyed shear wave velocity (V s ) profiles of the landslide deposits. We also examined the internal geometry of the deposits that outcropped on the right-side slope of the landslide foot. The longitudinal profile of V s along the direction of movement showed that terrace deposits near the toe of the edge slope may have been sheared upward, indicating that at the toe, the surface of rupture might be located inside the terrace deposits. The V s contours showed an A-shaped fold within the landslide deposits in the middle part of the travel path and became greater in the most distal toe part. The V s profile across the deposits showed a U-shaped belt, in which the soil layers have smaller V s . This belt may be the boundary between the sliding landslide debris and terrace deposits. The observed internal geometry of the landslide deposits indicates that a sliding surface developed within the sandy layer underlying the gravel layer. Therefore, we inferred that after failure, the displaced landslide materials overrode and sheared the terrace deposits along its main sliding direction, resulting in the formation of thrust folds within the terrace deposits, and greater V s on the distal toe part of the landslide.

Keywords

Landslide Loess Plateau Edge slope Shear wave velocity Internal structure Landslide deposits 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This work was financially supported by the grant of the Key Program of National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41130753), the National Basic Research Program of China (973 program) (No. 2014CB744700), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 41402240). This research was also partially supported by JSPS KAKENHI (Grant Number 15H01797). Valuable English editing by Dr. Eileen McSaveney (GNS Science, New Zealand) is appreciated. Finally, the author’s special thanks go to the Editor and referees of this paper for their useful comments used to revise the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jianbing Peng
    • 1
  • Gonghui Wang
    • 2
    Email author
  • Qiyao Wang
    • 1
  • Fanyu Zhang
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Geological EngineeringChang’an UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.Research Center on Landslides, Disaster Prevention Research InstituteKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  3. 3.MOE Key Laboratory of Mechanics on Disaster and Environment in Western ChinaLanzhou UniversityLanzhouPeople’s Republic of China

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