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Sandbox modelling of interactions of landslide deposits with terrace sediments aided by field observation

Abstract

The Loess Plateau can be considered as a landslide-prone area in northwest China. The genera consensus about the interaction between landslide deposit and terrace sediments is not well studied; this paper summarised 40 loess landslides in the South Jingyang Platform, Shaanxi Province, China to help understand of this issue. Four of the loess landslides with high mobility have been analysed in detail. Three trenches T1, T2 and T3 dug after the loess landslides LD37, LD11 and LD38 highlighted the landslide-induced changes in geomorphology and internal geometry of geology, respectively. Furthermore, observation of upwards seepage flow on the profile of trench T3 is believed to be the trigger of the high speed, and long runout flowslides in the study area. A newly developed sandbox apparatus is used to reproduce the landslide kinematics due to a mass travelling over an inclined plane. The sandbox experiments show that the sediments are sheared and pushed upwards after the collision with the deposits. The deposits are then wrapped in a space between sediments, which tends to form the ‘sandwich’ structure. The distal sediments are thrust when the loess deposits’ kinetic energy consistently dissipates, developing the accumulated folded strata. These results reveal the deposits’ interactions with the sediments in the study area and provide key guideposts regarding prevention and mitigation of loess landslide hazards.

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Data availability

The field observation and laboratory data used to support the findings of this research work are included in the article.

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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 41602359.

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This paper represents a result of collaborative teamwork. Dr. Duan performed a comprehensive field observation and laboratory tests; Dr. Cheng guided laboratory tests and prepared the original manuscript. Mr. Xue and Miss Wang conducted three repeatability tests and gave edits to the revised manuscript. The four authors contributed equally to this work.

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Correspondence to Wen-Chieh Cheng.

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Cheng, WC., Duan, Z., Xue, ZF. et al. Sandbox modelling of interactions of landslide deposits with terrace sediments aided by field observation. Bull Eng Geol Environ 80, 3711–3731 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10064-021-02144-2

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10064-021-02144-2

Keywords

  • Terrace sediment
  • Landslide deposit
  • Sandbox experiment
  • Loess Plateau
  • South Jingyang Platform