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Peer-Review Record

Destabilization Mechanism of Rainfall-Induced Loess Landslides in the Kara Haisu Gully, Xinyuan County, Ili River Valley, China: Physical Simulation

Water 2023, 15(21), 3775;
by Tiandong Zhang 1, Zizhao Zhang 1,2,*, Cheng Xu 1, Ruihua Hao 1, Qianli Lv 3, Junyu Jia 1, Shichuan Liang 1,4 and Haiyu Zhu 5
Reviewer 1: Anonymous
Reviewer 2: Anonymous
Reviewer 3:
Water 2023, 15(21), 3775;
Submission received: 6 October 2023 / Revised: 25 October 2023 / Accepted: 26 October 2023 / Published: 28 October 2023

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

Comments and Suggestions for Authors

Dear authors


Congratulations for your interesting manuscript, which I think can be published in Water after a careful revision.


My comments are mainly concern with the way work is presented and less with the contents. Nevertheless, I would like to see them considered in a final version of the manuscript.



# 1

In order to make the content more perceptible to an international audience I suggest that the title should refer the country (China) of the study); the same suggestion is made regarding the abstract;


# 2

I would be important to have more bibliographical references from foreign authors (almost all references are from Chinese authors and in Chinese language), especially in the state of the art (introduction), with regard to previous work on the same subject or methodologies, as well as in the comparison and discussion of results with similar work; In this regard, it is worth adding something to the discussion regarding this comparison with other similar works in other parts of the world.


# 3

The legends (captions) of figures and tables should be revised, since most of them do not refer the study context or the study area. I suggest a detailed revision of all the captions, these must be the most complete as possible (referring the study context and the study area, when applicable), because figures should be legible without the need to see the main text.



# 4

Please make sure that the images’ resolution is high enough for publication; for instance, figures 1 and 3 have texts and contents affected by the low resolution:


# 5

In figures 8 and 9 (electron microscope images) a scale is missing.


# 6

In figure 1, please swap a) and b) (a should be in the left side); moreover, some legends are not legible thus they must be revised or removed.


# 7

Please harmonize the fonts type and size in all figures (for example, in figures 5, 6, 7 and 10 they are way bigger than in the other figures);


# 8

Please consider to add more (or bigger) pictures of the study area, since the only ones are those present in figure 1 (1b).



Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

Reviewer 2 Report

Comments and Suggestions for Authors

The research is an experimental study to investigate the effect of heavy rainfall on the earth slope stability, the slope of "Ili river valley" in China were selected as case study. vertical stresses and pore water pressure were measured during the test along the slope and samples from the slope were extracted and photographed using electronic microscope to document their micro structure.

The research is valuable, well organized and written in good English, however there are some major comments must be fulfilled before acceptance as follows:

1- The resolution of all figures and photos are so bad and must be enhanced

2- The authors should discuses the effect of shearing with the sidewalls of the model and how it was eliminated or considered  

3- Types and specifications of the used stress and pore water pressure sensors must be mentioned, also, their embedded depth

4- Is the used soil in the model is extracted from the case study site or not, this must be clearly mentioned

5- In all the manuscript, please replace "earth pressure" with "vertical stresses" because the term "earth pressure" is usually related to lateral stresses. 

6-In table 1, please add the initial void ratio and consistency limits ( liquid limit & plastic limit)

7- For Fig. 6, pleases don't use the absolute additional vertical stress, use the ratio between the initial vertical stress at sensor level (embedment depth x soil density) to the current vertical stress during the test.

8- For Fig. 8, 9, please add (1200X) in the caption and put scale in the photos 

9- For fig 10, the chart values don't match the values in table 3. Also, please add units to the vertical axis.

10- Please add units in table 3, also, add percentage to each value with reference to the initial condition

11- the Discussion includes the micro structure mechanism during failure, but it didn't include the failure cause. In my opinion, the failure occurred when the whole soil layer became saturated, this triggered two causes, the first is reducing the cohesion strength of the soil as its water content increases (the following reference presents a relation between the cohesion stress and the water content the second cause, when the water reached and tapped against the impermeable layer, it created an uplift forces which reduced the vertical effective stress and hence the friction strength of the soil.  Please add this analysis to the Discussion

12- this research considered the topography and soil properties of certain site, hence, it is a "Case Study" and it should be mentioned in both title and abstract and it should be stated in the conclusion that the results of this study are limited to this site and it should be verified for other sites   

13- Finally, the introduction missed many recent related references for example: Prediction the stability of slopes using, Analysis of rockfall due to rainfall, optimum slope stabilizing technique org/10.28991/CEJ-2023-09-02-015, effect of adjacent loads on the stability of slopes org/10.1155/2021/3267018, effect of soil permeability on the slope stability, Case study on the effect of rainfall on the stability of slopes in Luxembourg, and finally, the coupled constitutive relations that used to analysis the slope stability with seepage effect org/10.1016/j.heliyon.2023.e14465.         



Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

Reviewer 3 Report

Comments and Suggestions for Authors

Congrats on your work. This is a nicely organized paper covering an important topic. however, there is some suggestion to improve your manuscript. please refer to the enclosed file.

Comments for author File: Comments.pdf

Comments on the Quality of English Language

There are few English language and coherence issues in the research. It requires proofreading and improvement.

Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.pdf

Round 2

Reviewer 2 Report

Comments and Suggestions for Authors

The author addressed all the previous comments and the research is accepted in the current form

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