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Water 2018, 10(4), 479; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10040479

Effect of Variations in Long-Duration Rainfall Intensity on Unsaturated Slope Stability

Department of Resources of Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan
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Received: 3 March 2018 / Revised: 9 April 2018 / Accepted: 11 April 2018 / Published: 13 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landslide Hydrology)
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Abstract

In recent years, many scientific methods have been used to prove that the Earth’s climate is changing. Climate change can affect rainfall patterns, which can in turn affect slope safety. Therefore, this study analyzed the effects of climate change on rainfall patterns from the perspective of rainfall intensity. This analysis was combined with numerical model analysis to examine the rainfall patterns of the Zengwen reservoir catchment area and its effects on slope stability. In this study, the Mann–Kendall test and the Theil–Sen estimator were used to analyze the rainfall records of rainfall stations at Da-Dong-Shan, Ma-To-Shan, and San-Jiao-Nan-Shan. The rainfall intensity of the Zengwen reservoir catchment area showed an increasing trend from 1990–2016. In addition, the analysis results of rainfall intensity trends were used for qualitative analysis of seepage and slope stability. The trend analysis result showed that in the future, from 2017–2100, if the amount of rainfall per hour continues to rise at about 0.1 mm per year, the amount of seepage will increase at the slope surface boundary and significantly change pore water pressure in the soil. As a result, the time of the occurrence of slope instability after the start of rainfall will decrease from 20 to 13 h, and the reduction in the safety coefficient will increase from 32 to 41%. Therefore, to decrease the effects of slope disasters on the safety of the Zengwen reservoir and its surrounding areas, changes in rainfall intensity trends should be considered for slope safety in this region. However, the results of trend analyses were weak and future research is needed using a wider range of precipitation data and detailed hydrological analysis to better predict rainfall pattern variations. View Full-Text
Keywords: rainfall intensity; trend analysis; slope stability; Zengwen reservoir rainfall intensity; trend analysis; slope stability; Zengwen reservoir
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
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Yeh, H.-F.; Tsai, Y.-J. Effect of Variations in Long-Duration Rainfall Intensity on Unsaturated Slope Stability. Water 2018, 10, 479.

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