Special Issue "Mountain Landslides: Monitoring, Modeling, and Mitigation"

A special issue of Geosciences (ISSN 2076-3263). This special issue belongs to the section "Natural Hazards".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 December 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Assoc. Prof. Alessandro Corsini

University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Department of Chemical and Geological Sciences, Modena, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: engineering geology; landslides; mapping; site investigation; multi-methods monitoring; GIS and FE modeling; hazard and risk mitigation; Alps; Apennines
Guest Editor
Assoc. Prof. Lisa Borgatti

Department of Civil, Chemical, Environmental, and Materials Engineering, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: landslide risk mitigation; aquifers; numerical modelling; climate changes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The scientific and technological advancements of the last few decades have made monitoring, modeling and mitigation (3Ms) increasingly important in landslide studies.

Never before have scientific and practitioner communities had access to such a large variety of powerful tools to monitor and model landslides at various scales. Nevertheless, a geoscientific understanding of slope processes is still crucial for an adequate interpretation of results of monitoring and modelling tools and for their exploitation in the assessment of structural (i.e., engineering works) and non-structural (i.e., land use planning and early warning) mitigation measures.

This Special Issue aims to collect relevant and original papers regarding both innovative methods and/or case studies in which the 3Ms are implemented in a synergic manner and with a central geoscientific perspective for the solution of practical landslide risk management problems in different mountain chains of the world.

Assoc. Prof. Alessandro Corsini
Assoc. Prof. Lisa Borgatti
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Landslides
  • Mountain chains
  • Geosciences
  • Monitoring
  • Modelling Mitigation
  • Hazard and Risk management

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Modelling of a Large Landslide Problem under Water Level Fluctuation—Model Calibration and Verification
Geosciences 2019, 9(2), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9020089
Received: 29 December 2018 / Revised: 31 January 2019 / Accepted: 6 February 2019 / Published: 14 February 2019
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Abstract
In past centuries, reservoir landslides have been always a threat that brought a big loss in lives and properties. The phenomena that have decisive influence on the landslide instability are quite complex and the importance of each of them for the stability of [...] Read more.
In past centuries, reservoir landslides have been always a threat that brought a big loss in lives and properties. The phenomena that have decisive influence on the landslide instability are quite complex and the importance of each of them for the stability of a particular landslide differs. Therefore, it is extremely important to distinguish between the effects that different phenomena have and to identify those that dominate the behaviour of the studied landslide. The aim of the present study is to investigate the behaviour under the river level fluctuation of a large landslide in China, namely the Huangtupo landslide. A 2D numerical model of a selected part of the Huangtupo landslide is created and a series of fully coupled hydro-mechanical simulations have been conducted to investigate the landslide behaviour under different influencing factors (e.g., mechanical incidents, water head, soil water permeability, etc.). Furthermore, both local and global sensitivity analyses are performed to assess the importance of these influencing factors and to select the most influential model parameters. Thereafter, back analysis is employed to calibrate the model against real field data. Finally, the capability of the calibrated model is evaluated and the results show that it can simulate appropriately the long-term behaviour of the landslide after the river level reaches its maximal level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mountain Landslides: Monitoring, Modeling, and Mitigation)
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Open AccessArticle Impact of a Random Sequence of Debris Flows on Torrential Fan Formation
Geosciences 2019, 9(2), 64; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9020064
Received: 20 November 2018 / Revised: 17 January 2019 / Accepted: 21 January 2019 / Published: 29 January 2019
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Abstract
Debris flows with different magnitudes can have a large impact on debris fan characteristics such as height or slope. Moreover, knowledge about the impact of random sequences of debris flows of different magnitudes on debris fan properties is sparse in the literature and [...] Read more.
Debris flows with different magnitudes can have a large impact on debris fan characteristics such as height or slope. Moreover, knowledge about the impact of random sequences of debris flows of different magnitudes on debris fan properties is sparse in the literature and can be improved using numerical simulations of debris fan formation. Therefore, in this paper we present the results of numerical simulations wherein we investigated the impact of a random sequence of debris flows on torrential fan formation, where the total volume of transported debris was kept constant, but different rheological properties were used. Overall, 62 debris flow events with different magnitudes from 100 m3 to 20,000 m3 were selected, and the total volume was approximately 225,000 m3. The sequence of these debris flows was randomly generated, and selected debris fan characteristics after the 62 events were compared. For modeling purposes, we applied the Rapid Mass Movement Simulations (RAMMS) software and its debris flow module (RAMMS-DF). The modeling was carried out using (a) real fan topography from an alpine environment (i.e., an actual debris fan in north-west (NW) Slovenia formed by the Suhelj torrent) and (b) an artificial surface with a constant slope. Several RAMMS model parameters were tested. The simulation results confirm that the random sequence of debris flow events has only some minor effects on the fan formation (e.g., slope, maximum height), even when changing debris flow rheological properties in a wide range. After the 62 events, independent of the selected sequence of debris flows, the final fan characteristics were not significantly different from each other. Mann–Whitney (MW) tests and t-tests were used for this purpose, and the selected significance level was 0.05. Moreover, this conclusion applies for artificial and real terrain and for a wide range of tested RAMMS model rheological parameters. Further testing of the RAMMS-DF model in real situations is proposed in order to better understand its applicability and limitations under real conditions for debris flow hazard assessment or the planning of mitigation measures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mountain Landslides: Monitoring, Modeling, and Mitigation)
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Open AccessArticle An Experimental Investigation on the Progressive Failure of Unsaturated Granular Slopes
Geosciences 2019, 9(2), 63; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9020063
Received: 29 December 2018 / Revised: 18 January 2019 / Accepted: 24 January 2019 / Published: 29 January 2019
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Abstract
Slope failure is a complex process which depends on several factors concerning nature and properties of soil, slope morphology and structure, past stress history, groundwater regime, boundary conditions, and their changes. As a consequence, the mechanism of slope failure is typically characterized by [...] Read more.
Slope failure is a complex process which depends on several factors concerning nature and properties of soil, slope morphology and structure, past stress history, groundwater regime, boundary conditions, and their changes. As a consequence, the mechanism of slope failure is typically characterized by the development of a highly non-uniform strain field, which does not allow an easy prediction of the failure conditions. Usually, the process which will bring the slope to final collapse starts with local soil failure, which then leads to formation and propagation of a shear zone, and finally to general slope failure. This mechanical process is called progressive failure. However, in spite of the progresses in the knowledge of the slope behavior, a complete framework about the progressive failure is still missing; in particular, information about the response of granular unsaturated sloping soils is very poor. This paper reports the results of a couple of small-scale experiments on slopes reconstituted with unsaturated pyroclastic soils and subjected to continuous rainfall. The use of miniaturized sensors and optical fibers provided useful data to read some aspects of the mechanics of failure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mountain Landslides: Monitoring, Modeling, and Mitigation)
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Open AccessArticle Innovative Monitoring Tools and Early Warning Systems for Risk Management: A Case Study
Geosciences 2019, 9(2), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9020062
Received: 22 December 2018 / Revised: 14 January 2019 / Accepted: 24 January 2019 / Published: 29 January 2019
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Abstract
During recent years, the availability of innovative monitoring instrumentation has been a fundamental component in the development of efficient and reliable early warning systems (EWS). In fact, the potential to achieve high sampling frequencies, together with automatic data transmission and elaboration are key [...] Read more.
During recent years, the availability of innovative monitoring instrumentation has been a fundamental component in the development of efficient and reliable early warning systems (EWS). In fact, the potential to achieve high sampling frequencies, together with automatic data transmission and elaboration are key features for a near-real time approach. This paper presents a case study located in Central Italy, where the realization of an important state route required a series of preliminary surveys. The monitoring system installed on site included manual inclinometers, automatic modular underground monitoring system (MUMS) inclinometers, piezometers, and geognostic surveys. In particular, data recorded by innovative instrumentation allowed for the detection of major slope displacements that ultimately led to the landslide collapse. The implementation of advanced tools, featuring remote and automatic procedures for data sampling and elaboration, played a key role in the critical event identification and prediction. In fact, thanks to displacement data recorded by the MUMS inclinometer, it was possible to forecast the slope failure that was later confirmed during the following site inspection. Additionally, a numerical analysis was performed to better understand the mechanical behavior of the slope, back-analyze the monitored event, and to assess the stability conditions of the area of interest. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mountain Landslides: Monitoring, Modeling, and Mitigation)
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Open AccessArticle Geotechnical Properties of Two Pyroclastic Deposits Involved in Catastrophic Flowslides for Implementation in Early Warning Systems
Geosciences 2019, 9(1), 24; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences9010024
Received: 4 December 2018 / Revised: 21 December 2018 / Accepted: 24 December 2018 / Published: 31 December 2018
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Abstract
Air-fall pyroclastic deposits on steep slopes in Campania (Southern Italy) are periodically subjected to rainfall-induced landslides that may evolve into catastrophic flowslides. To protect built-up areas, early warning systems (EWSs) have been implemented which are essentially based on pluviometric thresholds or models unable [...] Read more.
Air-fall pyroclastic deposits on steep slopes in Campania (Southern Italy) are periodically subjected to rainfall-induced landslides that may evolve into catastrophic flowslides. To protect built-up areas, early warning systems (EWSs) have been implemented which are essentially based on pluviometric thresholds or models unable to accurately monitor the physical phenomena responsible for flowslide generation in pyroclastic deposits. Over the last 20 years, landslides with no evolution in flows occurred in this area and the alarms generated by existing EWSs in the cases of rainfall were both false and highly costly, thus eroding public trust in EWSs. To improve existing EWSs, two complex models for pyroclastic soils (Cervinara and Sarno) are proposed in this paper. These two models allow correct simulation of the physical processes, such as saturation increase due to rainwater infiltration and mechanical degradation as far as undrained instability, which govern postfailure evolution. The paper concludes with the presentation of a framework proposal to be used in defining a soil database, as well as a framework for flowslide generation forecast to be used for implementation within EWSs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mountain Landslides: Monitoring, Modeling, and Mitigation)
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Open AccessArticle Detectability of Repeated Airborne Laser Scanning for Mountain Landslide Monitoring
Geosciences 2018, 8(12), 469; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8120469
Received: 17 November 2018 / Revised: 1 December 2018 / Accepted: 6 December 2018 / Published: 10 December 2018
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Abstract
Multi-temporal airborne laser scanning (ALS) surveys have become a prime consideration for detecting landslide movements and evaluating landslide risk in mountain areas. The minimum elevation change (or detectability) that can be detected by repeated ALS surveys has become a critical threshold for landslide [...] Read more.
Multi-temporal airborne laser scanning (ALS) surveys have become a prime consideration for detecting landslide movements and evaluating landslide risk in mountain areas. The minimum elevation change (or detectability) that can be detected by repeated ALS surveys has become a critical threshold for landslide researchers and engineers to decide if ALS is a capable tool for detecting targeted landslides and arranging the minimum time span between two scans if ALS is a choice. The National Center for Airborne Laser Mapping (NCALM) at the University of Houston conducted three repeated ALS surveys at the Slumgullion landslide site in Colorado, U.S. over one week in July of 2015. These repeated ALS surveys provide valuable datasets for evaluating the vertical detectability of multi-temporal ALS surveys in a typical mountain area. According to this study, the difference of digital elevation models (DDEM) derived from ALS has the ability of detecting a minimum elevation change of 5 cm over flatter and moderately rugged terrain areas (slope < 20 degrees) and a minimum of a 10-cm elevation change over rugged terrain areas (20 degrees < slope < 40 degrees). However, the DDEM values over highly rugged terrain areas (slope > 40 degrees), such as cliff and landslide scarps, should be interpolated with caution. Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and Terrestrial Laser Scanning (TLS) surveys were also performed at the middle portion of the landslide area for assessing the accuracy of ALS datasets. The accuracy of ALS varies from approximately one decimeter (~10 cm) to one foot (~30 cm) depending on the roughness of terrain surface and vegetation coverage (point density). The detectability and accuracy estimates of ALS measurements obtained from the case study could be used as a reference for estimating the performance of modern ALS in mountain areas with similar topography and vegetation coverage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mountain Landslides: Monitoring, Modeling, and Mitigation)
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Open AccessArticle The Relationship between InSAR Coseismic Deformation and Earthquake-Induced Landslides Associated with the 2017 Mw 3.9 Ischia (Italy) Earthquake
Geosciences 2018, 8(8), 303; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8080303
Received: 21 June 2018 / Revised: 7 August 2018 / Accepted: 9 August 2018 / Published: 12 August 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4793 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
We investigated the contribution of earthquake-induced surface movements to the ground displacements detected through Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) data, after the Mw 3.9 Ischia earthquake on 21 August 2017. A permanent displacement approach, based on the limit equilibrium method, allowed estimation [...] Read more.
We investigated the contribution of earthquake-induced surface movements to the ground displacements detected through Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) data, after the Mw 3.9 Ischia earthquake on 21 August 2017. A permanent displacement approach, based on the limit equilibrium method, allowed estimation of the spatial extent of the earthquake-induced landslides and the associated probability of failure. The proposed procedure identified critical areas potentially affected by slope movements partially overlapping the coseismic ground displacement retrieved by InSAR data. Therefore, the observed ground displacement field is the combination of both fault slip and surficial sliding caused by the seismic shaking. These findings highlight the need to perform preliminary calculations to account for the non-tectonic contributions to ground displacements before any estimation of the earthquake source geometry and kinematics. Such information is fundamental to avoid both the incorrect definition of the source geometry and the possible overestimation of the coseismic slip over the causative fault. Moreover, knowledge of the areas potentially affected by slope movements could contribute to better management of a seismic emergency, especially in areas exposed to high seismic and hydrogeological risks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Mountain Landslides: Monitoring, Modeling, and Mitigation)
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