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Open AccessArticle

Slope Stability of a Scree Slope Based on Integrated Characterisation and Monitoring

1
Institute for Geotechnical Engineering, ETH Zürich, Stefano-Franscini-Platz 5, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland
2
Institute for Geophysics, ETH Zürich, Sonneggstrasse 5, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland
3
Unit Research Mountain Hydrology and Mass Movements, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL, Zürcherstrasse 111, 8903 Birmensdorf, Switzerland
4
Geotechnical Engineering/Geology, FlumGeo AG, Fuchsenstrasse 19, St. 9016 Gallen, Switzerland
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Water 2020, 12(2), 447; https://doi.org/10.3390/w12020447
Received: 15 November 2019 / Revised: 18 January 2020 / Accepted: 27 January 2020 / Published: 7 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water-Induced Landslides: Prediction and Control)
Three years of geotechnical seasonal field monitoring including soil temperature, suction and volumetric water content plus geophysical measurements, lead to a preliminary ground model and assessment of slope stability for a steep scree slope in the Meretschibach catchment, near Agarn village in the Swiss Alps. Building on data reported in a previous paper, which focused on preliminary ground characterisation and seasonal field monitoring, this current research aims to understand whether a surficial failure in the scree slope, triggered by rainfall and depending on bedrock conditions, would represent a relevant natural hazard for Agarn village. A final year of field data is included as well as site-specific sensor calibration, a Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) profile, and laboratory triaxial testing to provide strength parameters. A bedrock map is presented, based on GPR, with a realistic ground model of the entire scree slope. Furthermore, a preliminary numerical analysis, performed using SEEP-SLOPE/W, shows the influence of a bedrock outcrop observed in the field, for a specific soil thickness, strength parameters and rain intensity. The stability of a gravelly slope decreases with groundwater flow over a step in the bedrock, and the location of the failure will tend to move uphill of a bedrock outcrop at a shallow depth as groundwater flow increases. View Full-Text
Keywords: landslide; monitoring; bedrock; scree slope; Ground Penetrating Radar; volumetric water content; natural hazard; triaxial stress path testing landslide; monitoring; bedrock; scree slope; Ground Penetrating Radar; volumetric water content; natural hazard; triaxial stress path testing
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Lucas, D.; Fankhauser, K.; Maurer, H.; McArdell, B.; Grob, R.; Herzog, R.; Bleiker, E.; Springman, S.M. Slope Stability of a Scree Slope Based on Integrated Characterisation and Monitoring. Water 2020, 12, 447.

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