Environmental Geology

, Volume 58, Issue 2, pp 359–369 | Cite as

Rock-slides on road cuttings in the Dinaric karst of Croatia: processes and factors

  • T. Roje-BonacciEmail author
  • P. Miščević
  • D. Števanić
Special Issue


The northern Adriatic coast, which forms part of the Dinaric karst system, is bordered by high mountains. Here, the occurrence of rock-slides and rock-falls in road sections with high cuttings excavated in recent times and more than one century ago has been documented. Some of these old slopes were stable for a long time before rock-slides started to occur. We propose that these mass movements are favoured by karstification processes acting along joints in the exposed rock mass. The stress changes induced by overburden removal (excavation) cause dilation in the mass joint systems reducing the rock mass strength and facilitating the circulation of aggressive water. Changes in water pressure and temperature, wetting and drying cycles, and corrosion processes along discontinuity planes entail a reduction through time of the shear strength of potential failure surfaces.


Karstification Corrosion Road cuttings Slope stability 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • T. Roje-Bonacci
    • 1
    Email author
  • P. Miščević
    • 1
  • D. Števanić
    • 1
  1. 1.Geotechnical Department, Faculty of Civil Engineering and ArchitectureUniversity of SplitSplitCroatia

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