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Article

Physical Model Experiments on Water Infiltration and Failure Modes in Multi-Layered Slopes under Heavy Rainfall

1
Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, Saitama University, Saitama 338-8570, Japan
2
Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Science, Chengdu 610041, China
3
Department of Civil Engineering, Central South University, Changsha 410012, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Appl. Sci. 2020, 10(10), 3458; https://doi.org/10.3390/app10103458
Received: 30 March 2020 / Revised: 6 May 2020 / Accepted: 11 May 2020 / Published: 17 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Approaches in Landslide Monitoring and Data Analysis)
To assess the influence of an intermediate coarse layer on the slope stability during heavy rainfall, knowledge about water movement and how slope failure occurs is important. To clarify the characteristics of water infiltration in a multi-layered slope and assess its influence on the slope failure modes, eight groups of physical slope models were investigated. It was found that the unsaturated hydraulic conductivity in the coarse layer (5.54 × 10−6 cm/s) was much lower than that of the fine layer (1.08 × 10−4 cm/s), which resulted in the capillary barrier working at a lower water content. Intermediate coarse layers embedded between finer ones may initially confine the infiltration within the overlying finer layers, delaying the infiltration and eventually inducing a lateral flow diversion in the inclined slope. Two different failure modes occurred in the model experiments: surface sliding occurred at the toe in the single-layer slope group and piping occurred at the toe in the multi-layered slope as the rainfall water accumulated, was diverted along the interface, and then broke through in the downslope direction of the intermediate coarse layer. The lateral flow diversion caused by the capillary barrier and the tilt angle may be the major factors influencing the difference of the failure modes. The result also revealed that the coarser layers may have negative effects on the slope stability. View Full-Text
Keywords: unsaturated soil; capillary barrier; multi-layer slope; slope failure unsaturated soil; capillary barrier; multi-layer slope; slope failure
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tang, J.; Taro, U.; Huang, D.; Xie, J.; Tao, S. Physical Model Experiments on Water Infiltration and Failure Modes in Multi-Layered Slopes under Heavy Rainfall. Appl. Sci. 2020, 10, 3458. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10103458

AMA Style

Tang J, Taro U, Huang D, Xie J, Tao S. Physical Model Experiments on Water Infiltration and Failure Modes in Multi-Layered Slopes under Heavy Rainfall. Applied Sciences. 2020; 10(10):3458. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10103458

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tang, Junfeng; Taro, Uchimura; Huang, Dong; Xie, Jiren; Tao, Shangning. 2020. "Physical Model Experiments on Water Infiltration and Failure Modes in Multi-Layered Slopes under Heavy Rainfall" Appl. Sci. 10, no. 10: 3458. https://doi.org/10.3390/app10103458

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