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Linking Soil Hydrology and Creep: A Northern Andes Case

Departamento de Geociencias y Medio Ambiente, Facultad de Minas, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellín 050034, Colombia
Departamento de Ingeniería Civil, Facultad de Minas, Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Medellín 050034, Colombia
Mountain Societies Research Institute, University of Central Asia, Khorog 736000, Tajikistan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2020, 10(11), 472;
Received: 13 October 2020 / Revised: 8 November 2020 / Accepted: 16 November 2020 / Published: 21 November 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Landslides and Granular Flows on Earth)
Soil creep is common along the hillslopes of the tropical Andes of Colombia, where very heterogeneous soils develop on old debris flow deposits and are subjected to abundant rainfall with a bimodal annual regime. In particular, the western hillside of the city of Medellín, Colombia, is comprised of a series of debris and earth flow deposits in which landslides and soil creep are common. To explore linkages between soil creep and hydrology, we selected an experimental site in the western hillslope of the Medellín valley to assess the behavior of water within the soil mass, its relationship with rainfall, and its connection with soil displacement. In experimental plots, we systematically measured runoff, percolation, water table levels, and volumetric water content, for a period of almost 2 years; we also conducted several alti-planimetric positioning surveys to estimate relative displacements of the soil surface. Moisture content of the soil remained above field capacity for most of the year (~68% of the time) and active and quasi-permanent lateral subsurface flow occurred within the upper 80 cm of the profile. The shallow flow likely facilitates the downslope movement. Additionally, our results suggest that displacement magnitudes are largest during the wet season of September–October–November, when a highly humid soil experiences changes in water content, so it is during this time that the effects of expansion / contraction of the soil particles (associated to wetting / drying cycles) contribute the most to the movement. This observational study represents a contribution to the understanding of soil creep in tropical hillslopes, where it responds to the wetting / drying cycles, with the particularities of a rainy weather (>1500 mm/year), warm temperatures (~22 °C on average), and a bimodal precipitation seasonality. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil creep; soil hydrology; water table; soil moisture; rainfall soil creep; soil hydrology; water table; soil moisture; rainfall
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MDPI and ACS Style

Pertuz-Paz, A.; Monsalve, G.; Loaiza-Úsuga, J.C.; Caballero-Acosta, J.H.; Agudelo-Vélez, L.I.; Sidle, R.C. Linking Soil Hydrology and Creep: A Northern Andes Case. Geosciences 2020, 10, 472.

AMA Style

Pertuz-Paz A, Monsalve G, Loaiza-Úsuga JC, Caballero-Acosta JH, Agudelo-Vélez LI, Sidle RC. Linking Soil Hydrology and Creep: A Northern Andes Case. Geosciences. 2020; 10(11):472.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Pertuz-Paz, Aleen; Monsalve, Gaspar; Loaiza-Úsuga, Juan C.; Caballero-Acosta, José H.; Agudelo-Vélez, Laura I.; Sidle, Roy C. 2020. "Linking Soil Hydrology and Creep: A Northern Andes Case" Geosciences 10, no. 11: 472.

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