, Volume 15, Issue 9, pp 1761–1778 | Cite as

Formation process of two massive dams following rainfall-induced deep-seated rapid landslide failures in the Kii Peninsula of Japan

  • Pham Van TienEmail author
  • Kyoji Sassa
  • Kaoru Takara
  • Hiroshi Fukuoka
  • Khang Dang
  • Tatsuya Shibasaki
  • Nguyen Duc Ha
  • Hendy Setiawan
  • Doan Huy Loi
Original Paper


Extreme heavy rainfall due to Typhoon Talas on September 2–4, 2011 in the Kii Peninsula, Japan, triggered numerous floods and landslides. This study investigates the mechanism and the entire process of rainfall-induced deep-seated landslides forming two massive dams in the Kuridaira and Akatani valleys, respectively. The mechanism of the rapid deep-seated landslides is examined through a series of laboratory experiments on samples from sliding surfaces by using undrained high-stress dynamic-loading ring-shear apparatus. The test results indicate that the failure of samples is triggered by excess pore water pressure generation under a shear displacement from 2 to 7 mm with a pore pressure ratio ranging from 0.33 to 0.37. The rapid movement of landslides is mainly attributed to high mobility due to the liquefaction behavior of both sandstone-rich and shale samples. Geomorphic settings and landslide mobility are major contributing factors to the dam formation. Additionally, shear displacement control tests show that a certain amount of shear displacement between 2 and 7 mm along the sliding surfaces of the gravitationally deformed slopes might have led to the failures. Importantly, computer simulation with LS-RAPID software using input parameters obtained from physical experiments is employed to interpret the entire formation process of the abovementioned two landslide dams. The simulation results are examined in accordance with the observed on-site geomorphic features and recorded data to explain the possibility of sliding processes. The results further point out that local failures are initiated from the lower middle part of the landslide bodies where the geological boundary exists. This condition most probably influences the landslide initiation in the two case studies. This research is therefore helpful for hazard assessment of slopes that are susceptible to deep-seated landslides and other sequential processes in areas with geology and geomorphology similar to that of the Kii Peninsula.


Deep-seated rapid landslide Landslide dam Rainfall Ring-shear apparatus LS-RAPID Kuridaira Akatani Kii Peninsula 



This research was financially supported by the Leading Graduate School Program on Global Survivability Studies (GSS Program) in Kyoto University. The authors would also like to express our special thanks to Mr. Hayashi, vice-director of the Kii Mountain District Sabo Office, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, for sharing a number of relevant data including DEM data, drawings, and reports. In particular, we are immensely grateful to Mr. Ogawauchi (senior engineer at Japan Conservation Engineers & CO., LTD.) for his support and valuable comments during the site survey. We deeply acknowledge their support during this study.


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pham Van Tien
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Kyoji Sassa
    • 3
  • Kaoru Takara
    • 1
  • Hiroshi Fukuoka
    • 4
  • Khang Dang
    • 3
    • 5
  • Tatsuya Shibasaki
    • 6
  • Nguyen Duc Ha
    • 1
  • Hendy Setiawan
    • 1
  • Doan Huy Loi
    • 2
  1. 1.Disaster Prevention Research InstituteKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan
  2. 2.Institute of Transport Science and TechnologyHanoiVietnam
  3. 3.International Consortium on LandslidesKyotoJapan
  4. 4.Research Institute for Natural Hazards and Disaster RecoveryNiigata UniversityNiigataJapan
  5. 5.VNU University of ScienceHanoiVietnam
  6. 6.Japan Conservation Engineers & CO., LTD.TokyoJapan

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