Landslides are usually triggered by strong earthquakes, heavy rainfalls, or intensive human activities in common wisdom. However, an unexpected landslide occurred in the Yabakei area, Nakatsu, Oita, Japan, at the pre-dawn hour 3:50 a.m. on 11 April 2018, without any accompanying rainfall and earthquake records during the event. This catastrophic landslide was 200 m in width, 110 m in height, and 60,000 m3
in mass volume, damaging four residential buildings with fatalities of six residents at the landslide toe. Field investigation was conducted immediately to identify geological setting, hydrological condition, and landslide geomorphological characteristics. Key findings speculate that infiltration of groundwater stored in the internal fractures led to the swelling and breaking of illite and askanite in the weathered sediment rocks, resulting in the failure of the Yabakei landslide. To reproduce and explore the dynamic process of this landslide event, based on spatial GIS data, we applied the proposed three-dimensional, Herschel-Bulkley-Papanastasiou rheology model-based smooth particle hydrodynamics (HBP-SPH) method to simulate the landslide dynamic process. Buildings in the landslide area are covered by a set of surfaced cells (SC) to analyze the mass impact on the residential buildings. Results showed good accordance between observation and simulation by the proposed SC-HBP-SPH method. The landslide impact force to the residential buildings could be up to 4224.89 kN, as indicated by the simulation.
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