Advertisement

Rock-Avalanche Size and Runout – Implications for Landslide Dams

  • T.R. Davies
  • M.J. McSaveney
Chapter
Part of the Lecture Notes in Earth Sciences book series (LNEARTH, volume 133)

Abstract

A fundamental quantity affecting landslide impact is its size: we ask how size might be known in advance of failure, and explore conditions under which there might be useful answers. The regional answer comes from probabilistic landslide hazard analysis. We approach the local problem by discussing forms that answers might have taken in some historical New Zealand landslides. Edifice shape seems more important than specific, weakest defects in determining release surfaces, and so the probability-density distribution of potential failure sizes at a site is estimable from topography, general knowledge of rock-mass characteristics, and the probability-density distributions of potential triggers. To understand and predict how far a landslide of known size will travel, and what its internal structure will be, we discuss dynamic grain fragmentation and its role in rock-avalanche and block-slide motion. We then examine how fragmentation affects the stability of rock-avalanche and block-slide dams.

Keywords

Rock Mass Unconfined Compressive Strength Rock Avalanche Release Surface Large Landslide 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgement

This research was supported by the New Zealand Foundation for Research, Science and Technology, through the Public Good Science Fund. We are grateful to our colleagues who attended the NATO Advanced Research Workshops in Celano in 2002 and in Bishkek in 2004 for their stimulating feedback on some of the ideas expressed here.

References

  1. 1.
    Beetham, R.D., McSaveney, M.J. and Read, S.A.L. (2002) Four extremely large landslides in New Zealand, in J.Rybar, J. Stemberk and P. Wagner (eds.), Landslides. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, pp. 97–102.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Davies, T.R., Deganutti, A.M. and McSaveney, M.J. (2003) A high-stress rheometer for fragmenting rock, in L. Picarelli (ed.) Proceedings of the International Conference on Fast Slope Movements: Prediction and Prevention for Risk Mitigation. Naples, May 11–13, 2003 Vol. 1, pp. 139–141.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Davies, T.R.H. and McSaveney, M.J. (2002) Dynamic simulation of the motion of fragmenting rock avalanches, Canadian Geotechnical Journal 39, 789–798.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Davies, T.R.H. and McSaveney, M.J. (2003) Runout of rock avalanches and volcanic debris avalanches, in L. Picarelli (ed.) Proceedings of the International Conference on Fast Slope Movements: Prediction and Prevention for Risk Mitigation. Naples, May 11–13, 2003 Vol. 2.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Davies, T.R., McSaveney, M.J. and Beetham, R.D. (2006) Rapid block glides: slide-surface fragmentation in New Zealand’s Waikaremoana landslide, Quarterly journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology 39, 115–129.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Dellow, G., McSaveney, M.J., Stirling, M.W., Lukovic, B., Heron, D.W., Berryman, K.R. and Peng, B. (2004) Probabilistic landslide hazard in North Island, New Zealand, from landslide magnitude-frequency distributions, Unpublished file report. Institute of Geological & Nuclear Sciences Ltd, Lower Hutt, New Zealand.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dunning, S.A. (2004) Rock avalanches in high mountains – A sedimentological approach, Unpublished PhD Thesis University of Luton, UK.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Erismann, T.H. and Abele, G. (1999) Dynamics of Rockfalls and Rockslides. Springer, Heidelberg, 316p.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Ermini, L. and Casagli, N. (2003) Prediction of the behaviour of landslide dams using a geomorphological dimensionless index, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 28, 31–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Hancox, G.T., McSaveney, M.J., Davies, T.R.H. and Hodgson, K.A. (1999) Mt Adams rock avalanche of 6 October 1999 and the subsequent formation and breaching of a large landslide dam in Poerua river, Westland, New Zealand, Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences Science Report 99/19, 33p.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hancox, G.T., McSaveney, M.J., Manville, V.R. and Davies, T.R. (2005) The October 1999 Mt. Adams rock avalanche and subsequent landslide dam-break flood and effects in Poera River, Westland, New Zealand, New Zealand Journal of Geology and Geophysics 48, 683–705.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Hungr, O. (1995) A model for the runout analysis of rapid flow slides, debris flows, and avalanches, Canadian Geotechnical Journal 32, 610–623.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Malamud, B.D., Turcotte, D.L., Guzzetti, F. and Reichenbach, P. (2004) Landslide inventories and their statistical properties, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 29, 687–711.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    McSaveney, M.J. (2002) Recent rockfalls and rock avalanches in Mount Cook National Park, New Zealand. in S.G. Evans, and J.V. DeGraff (eds.). Catastrophic landslides: Occurrence, mechanisms and mobility. Geological Society of America Reviews in Engineering Geology, 15, 35–70.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    McSaveney, M.J. and Davies, T.R.H. (2006) Rapid rock-mass flow with dynamic fragmentation:inferences from the morphology and internal structure of rockslides and rock avalanches, in S.G. Evans, G. Scarascia-Mugnozza, A. Strom and R. Hermanns (eds.), Landslides from Massive Rock Slope Failure. NATO Science Series IV, Earth and Environmental Sciences v. 49. Springer, Dordrecht, pp. 285–304.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    McSaveney, M.J., Davies, T.R.H. and Hodgson, K.A. (2000) A contrast in deposit style and process between large and small rock avalanches, in E. Bromhead, N. Dixon and M.-L. Ibsen (eds.), Landslides in Research, Theory and Practice. Thomas Telford Publishing, London, 1053–1058.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    McSaveney, M.J. and Downes, G. (2002) Application of landslide seismology to some New Zealand rock avalanches, in J. Rybar, J. Stemberk and P. Wagner (eds.), Landslides. Balkema, Lisse, pp. 649–654.Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Nash, T. (2004) Engineering geological assessment of selected landslide dams formed from the 1929 Murchison and 1968 Inangahua earthquakes, Unpublished M.Sc. (Eng Geol) thesis, University of Canterbury, 230p.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Nedderman, R. (1992) Statics and Kinematics of Granular Materials. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Reyners, M., McGinty, P., Cox, S., Turnbull, I., O’Neill, T., Gledhill, K., Hancox, G., Beavan, J., Matheson, D., McVerry, G., Cousins, J., Zhao, J., Cowan, H., Caldwell, G. and Bennie, S. the GeoNet team (2003) The Mw7.2 Fiordland earthquake of August 21, 2003: Background and preliminary results, Bulletin of the New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering 36, 233–248.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Sammis, C., King, G. and Biegel, R. (1987) The kinematics of gouge formation, Pure and Applied Geophysics 125, 777–812.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Scherbakov, R. and Turcotte, D.L. (2004) Damage and self-similarity in fracture, Theoretical and Applied Fracture Mechanics 39, 245–258.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Scherbakov, R. and Turcotte, D.L. (2004) A damage mechanics model for aftershocks, Pure and Applied Geophysics 161, 2379–2391.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Stark, C.P. and Hovius, N. (2001) The characterization of landslide size distributions, Geophysical Research Letters 28, 1091–1094.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Wawersik, W.R. and Fairhurst, C. (1970) A study of brittle rock fracture in laboratory compression experiments, International Journal of Rock Mechanics and Mining Sciences 7, 561–575.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geological SciencesUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand
  2. 2.Institute of Geological and Nuclear SciencesLower HuttNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations