Landslide Science and Practice

pp 191-195


Amplification of the Destructive Effects of Rock Falls by Sliding on Volcanic Soils: Examples from the Anaga Massif (Tenerife Island, Spain)

  • Jorge Yepes TemiñoAffiliated withDepartment of Civil Engineering, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria Email author 
  • , Martín Jesús Rodríguez-PecesAffiliated withDepartment of Geodynamics, University Complutense of Madrid, Ciudad Universitaria s/n
  • , Sara MarchesiniAffiliated withLaboratory of Concretes, Soils and Asphalts, University of Las Palmas de Gran CanariaDepartment of Civil Engineering, Polytechnic University of Marche
  • , Sergio LeyvaAffiliated withTechnical Road Maintenance and Exploitation Service, Local Government of Tenerife
  • , José Luis Díaz-HernándezAffiliated withResearch and Training Institute for Agriculture and Fishery (IFAPA), Junta de Andalucía

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This paper provides geomorphological and geotechnical observations on the amplification of the destructive behaviour of rock falls on rocky slopes in the Anaga massif (Tenerife Island, Spain) covered with soils rich in organic matter, within a high rainfall regime. The soil organic matter would be the determinant factor of this process, because it would reduce the soil strength as a result of overcoming the liquid limit during heavy rains. Thus the soil could develop a semi-fluid consistency, triggering a more efficient sliding of the blocks of rock along the slope and, hence, amplifying the destructive effect of the rock falls. Other potential determinant factor would be that the soil fine fraction could undergo a sudden change in its microfabric related to the dynamic load caused by the rock fall, similar to the mechanism described to explain the landslides developed in clayey soils.


Canary Islands Clay Humus Rock fall Tenerife Volcanic soil