Investigation into the triggering mechanism of loess landslides in the south Jingyang platform, Shaanxi province

Abstract

Loess landslide incidents have resulted in significant economic losses and human casualties in Northwest China. To investigate the triggering mechanism of such loess landslides in the south Jingyang platform, Shaanxi province, an area which is subject to loess landslides, we performed a series of field measurements for loess landslide LD37 and also undertook laboratory. Comparisons between the field measurements of LD37 and the results of the constant shear drained (CSD) triaxial test indicate that the seepage from irrigation-water infiltration triggered the loess landslides in the study area where the initiation of the local sliding surfaces was linked to gentle stratum erosion and their subsequent development was because of excessive stratum erosion. The development of slow–rapid strain cycles in the εp′ plot from the CSD triaxial test results indicates that loess landslides are a feature of progressive failure of the loess slope. Preventive measures to reduce irrigation-water infiltration into loess slopes should be taken to prevent similar incidents from recurring in the future.

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Acknowledgements

This study would not have been possible without financial supports from the Natural Science Foundation of China under Grant Nos. 41702298, 41790442 and 41877289 and from the Natural Science Basic Research Plan in Shaanxi Province of China under Grant No. 2017JQ4020, and Open Fund of Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Depositional Mineralization & Sedimentary Minerals under Grant Nos. DMSM2017029. The authors would like to express their sincere gratitude for the technical support provided by Professor Fu-Chu Dai and Dr. Zhi-Qiang Zhao at Beijing University of Technology.

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Correspondence to Wen-Chieh Cheng.

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Duan, Z., Cheng, W., Peng, J. et al. Investigation into the triggering mechanism of loess landslides in the south Jingyang platform, Shaanxi province. Bull Eng Geol Environ 78, 4919–4930 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10064-018-01432-8

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Keywords

  • Loess landslide
  • Jingyang platform
  • Agricultural irrigation
  • Stratum erosion