Effects of fine particle content and sample scale on the failure properties of loose landslide deposits

  • Bin-rui Gan
  • Xing-guo Yang
  • Ming-liang Chen
  • Jia-wen Zhou
Original Paper


A large amount of loose landslide deposits caused by a strong earthquake can cause several mountain disasters (slope failures, debris flows, and others) under heavy rainfall conditions. Loose landslide deposits are sensitive to water due to their special structural properties, such as loose structure and wide grading. There are complex conformational and mechanical responses of loose deposits, but the initial conditions and formation mechanisms of mountain disasters can be described by several different parameters. Among these parameters, the property of failure is one of the most important, and it is used to describe extremely dangerous situations for each kind of disaster. In this study, a two-dimensional particle flow code platform (PFC2D) was used to simulate the failure properties, and a laboratory test verified the validity of the numerical experiments. Different sample scales (S1, 150 × 300 mm; S2, 300 × 600 mm; S3, 600 × 1200 mm) and fine particle contents smaller than 5 mm (f-1, 20%; f-2, 30%; f-3, 40%) were considered. The simulation results show that failure stress increases with increasing sample scale or fine particle content under low confining pressure and decreases under high confining pressure. The tendency of failure stresses to vary mutates with different fine particle contents when the confining pressure changes. The mutation value of the confining pressure is 280 kPa. In addition, the phenomenon of strain softening becomes less obvious when the confining pressure increases.


Landslide deposits Failure properties Discrete element method Sample scale Fine particle content Mutation 



Critical comments by the anonymous reviewers greatly improved the initial manuscript.

Funding information

This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (51639007, 41472272) and the Youth Science and Technology Fund of Sichuan Province (2016JQ0011).


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Copyright information

© Saudi Society for Geosciences 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bin-rui Gan
    • 1
  • Xing-guo Yang
    • 2
  • Ming-liang Chen
    • 2
  • Jia-wen Zhou
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Hydraulics and Mountain River EngineeringSichuan UniversityChengduChina
  2. 2.College of Water Resource and HydropowerSichuan UniversityChengduChina

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