Natural Hazards

, Volume 64, Issue 1, pp 887–902 | Cite as

Experimental and numerical analysis on the responses of slope under rainfall

  • X. B. Lu
  • T. L. Ye
  • X. H. Zhang
  • P. Cui
  • K. H. Hu
Original Paper


Rainfall is an important factor to trigger the slope failure such as landslides and debris flows. First, the relationship between rainfall duration with the initiation of debris flow and rainfall intensity was mainly studied by the series tests in a box model. Then, the rainfall induced responses of slopes and the initiation of slope failure were simulated by using the software FLAC2D based on the soil parameters in Weijia Gully, Beichuan County, Sichuan Province. The effects of the slope angle, rainfall intensity, soil parameters on the development of the stress, and pore pressure in the soil of the slope were analyzed. It indicates that largest displacements in the slope are mainly located near the toe. With the increase of the rainfall intensity, the effective stress in the slope decreases and the displacement increases.


Debris flow Landslide Initiation of debris flow Rainfall 



This paper is supported by National Basic Research Program of China “Activity characteristics and formation rules of secondary mountain hazard of earthquake”(No. 2008CB425802) and Key Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (No.KZCX2-YW-302-02).


  1. Aleotro P (2004) A warning system for rainfall-induced shallow failures. Eng Geol 73:247–265CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson SA, Sitar N (1995) Analysis of rainfall-induced debris flow. J Geotech Eng 121(7):544–552CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Brooks RH, Corey AT (1964) Hydraulic properties of porous media. Civil Engineering Dept., Colorado State University, Hydrological Paper 3Google Scholar
  4. Brooks RH, Corey AT (1966) Properties of porous media affecting fluid flow. J Irrigation Drainage Div ASCE 92:61–88Google Scholar
  5. Chen CY, Chen TC, Yu FC, Yu WH, Tseng CC (2005) Rainfall duration and debris-flow initiated studies for real-time monitoring. Environ Geol 47:715–724Google Scholar
  6. Chen XQ, Cui P, Feng ZL, Chen J, Li Y (2006) Artificial rainfall experimental study on landslide translation to debris flow. Chin J Rock Mech Eng 25(1):106–116 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  7. Collins BD, Znidarcic D (1999) Stability analyses of rainfall induced landslide. ASCE J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 130(4):362–372CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Corey AT (1954) The interrelation between gas and oil relative permeabilities. Prod Mon 19(1):38–41Google Scholar
  9. Cui P (1992a) Study on condition and mechanisms of debris flow initiation by means of experiment. Chin Sci Bull 37(9):759–763 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  10. Cui P (1992b) A study on theoretical methods of forecasting debris flow. Interpraevent 1992-Bern 5:307–321Google Scholar
  11. Cui P, Liu SJ, Tan WP (2000) Progress of debris flow forecast in China. J Nat Disasters 9(2):10–15 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  12. Cui P, Ge YG, Zhuang JQ, Wang DJ (2009) Soil evolution features of debris flow waste-shoal land. J Mt Sci 6(2):181–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Fredlund DG, Rahardjo H (1993) Soil mechanics for unsaturated soils. Wiley, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Godt JW, Baum R, Lu N (2009) Can landslides occur under unsaturated soil conditions? Geophys Res Lett 36:L02403CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Iverson RM (1992) The physics of debris flows. Rev Geophys 35(3):245–296CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Iverson RM, Reid ME, LaHusen RG (1997) Debris-flow mobilization from landslides. Annu Rev Earth Planet Sci 25:85–138CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Iverson RM, Reid ME, Iverson NR, LuHusen RG, Logan M, Mann JE, Brien DL (2000) Acute sensitivity of landslide rates to initial soil porosity. Science 290(5491):513–516CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lu XB, Cui P (2010) On the study of water film in saturated soils. Int J Sediment Res 25:221–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lu N, Godt J (2008) Infinite slope stability analysis under steady unsaturated seepage conditions. Water Resour Res 44:W11404CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lu N, Likos WJ (2006) Suction stress characteristic curve for unsaturated soils. J Geotech Geoenviron Eng 132(2):131–142CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Lu XB, Zheng ZM (2006) Formation of water film in saturated sand. Acta Mech Sinica 22:377–383CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Lu XB, Cui P, Hu KH, Zhang XH (2010a) The initiation and development of water film by seepage. J Mt Sci 7:361–366CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Lu N, Godt J, Wu D (2010b) A closed-form equation for effective stress in variably saturated soil. Water Resour Res 46:W05515CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Lu XB, Ye TL, Cui P, Hu KH, Chen XQ (2011) Numerical investigation on the initiation mechanism of debris-flow under rainfall. J Mt Sci 8:619–628CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Reid ME, LaHusen RG, Iverson RM (1997) Debris-flow initiation experiments using diverse hydrologic triggers. In: Chen C-L (ed) Debris-flow hazards mitigation: mechanics, prediction, and assessment. ASCE, pp 1–11Google Scholar
  26. Tang C, Liang JT (2008) Characteristics of debris flows in Beichuan epicenter of the Wenchuan earthquake triggered by rainstorm on September 24, 2008. J Eng Geol 16(6):751–758 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  27. Tang C, Tie YB (2009) Reconnaissance and analysis on the Rainstorm induced debris flow in Weijiagou valley of Beichuan City after the Wenchuan earthquake. J Mt Sci 27(5):625–630 (in Chinese)Google Scholar
  28. Ye TL, Lu XB, Cui P, Hu KH (2012) Experimental study of the initiation of debris flow in Beichuan, Sichuan Province. J Mt Sci (being printed, in Chinese)Google Scholar
  29. Zhang LL, Zhang LM, Tang WH (2005) Rainfall-induced slope failure considering variability of soil properties. Geotechnique 55(2):183–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Zhuang JQ, Cui P, Hu KH, Chen XQ, Ge YG (2010). Characteristics of earthquake-triggered landslides and post-earthquake debris flow in Beichuan County. J Mt Sci 7(3):246–254Google Scholar
  31. Zhang LL, Zhang LM, Zhang J, Tang WH (2011) Stability analysis of rainfall-induced slope failure: a review. Geotech Eng 164(GE5):299–315Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • X. B. Lu
    • 1
  • T. L. Ye
    • 1
  • X. H. Zhang
    • 1
  • P. Cui
    • 2
  • K. H. Hu
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute of MechanicsChinese Academy of ScienceBeijingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Mountain Hazards and EnvironmentChinese Academy of ScienceChengduChina

Personalised recommendations