Special Issue "Innovative Strategies for Sustainable Mitigation of Landslide Risk"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Lucio Olivares
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Chief Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Ingegneria, Università degli Studi della Campania Luigi Vanvitelli, Aversa, Italy
Interests: unsaturated soil; rainfall-induced landslides; liquefaction; physical modelling; early warning system
Dr. Francesca Santaloia
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Guest Editor
CNR-IRPI, Sede Secondaria di Bari, National Research Council-Research Institute for Geo-Hydrological Protection, Bari, Italy
Interests: geology; geomorphology; stratigraphy; site investigations; landslide hazard analysis
Prof. Federica Cotecchia
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Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Ambientale, del Territorio, Edile e di Chimica, Politecnico di Bari, Bari, Italy
Interests: hydro-mechanical soil behaviour; landslide hazard analysis; laboratory testing; numerical modelling
Prof. Giuseppe Scarpelli
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Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Scienze e Ingegneria della Materia, dell’Ambiente e Urbanistica, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy
Interests: geotechnical engineering; geotechnical modelling; landslides and interaction with infrastractures design codes
Prof. Settimio Ferlisi
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Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile, Università degli Studi di Salerno, Fisciano (SA), Italy
Interests: monitoring; remote sensing; vulnerability; landslide risk
Prof. Diana Salciarini
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Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Ingegneria Civile ed Ambientale, Università degli Studi di Perugia, Perugia, Italy
Interests: physically-based modeling; rainfall-induced landslides; regional-scale landslide hazard; geostatistics
Prof. Luca Pagano
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Guest Editor
Dipartimento di Ingegneria civile, edile e ambientale, Università degli Studi di Napoli, Federico II, Napoli, Italy
Interests: earth dams; rainfall-induced landslides; early warning models for geotechnical

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Natural, structural and infrastructural systems are seriously threatened by a natural disastreous phenomena, such as landslides, which can be induced by climate, or earthquackes, or anthropic action. Their diffusion and the the damage intensity of their effects is highest especially in mountaneus countries of severe susceptibility and intense urbanization.

The mitigation of landslide risk requires a coherent scientific programme of slope characterization, stability analysis, monitoring and hazard assessment, for a wise selection of the mitigation strategies in light of the diagnosis of the landslide mechanism, in order to identify the most sustainable design. This special issue “Innovative Strategies for Sustainable Mitigation of Landslide Risk” is framed within such a programme and is intended to contribute to three essential actions for the risk mitigation: 1) the monitoring of the processes, 2) the modelling of the processes to diagnose the landslide mechanism and identify the most appropriate remedial measures, and 3) the development of innovative design strategies.

Prof. Dr. Lucio Olivares
Dr. Francesca Santaloia
Prof. Federica Cotecchia
Prof. Giuseppe Scarpelli
Prof. Settimio Ferlisi
Prof. Diana Salciarini
Prof. Luca Pagano
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Risk mitigation
  • Early warning system
  • Numerical modelling
  • Unsaturated soil
  • Cyclic/dynamic behaviour
  • Landslide
  • Climate-induced landslides
  • Liquefaction
  • Fracture mechanics
  • Geotechnics
  • Seism-induced landslides
  • Physical modelling
  • Slope stabilization strategies
  • Monitoring
  • Remote sensing
  • Vulnerability
  • Landslide risk

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Published Papers (12 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Laboratory and Physical Prototype Tests for the Investigation of Hydraulic Hysteresis of Pyroclastic Soils
Geosciences 2020, 10(8), 320; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10080320 - 17 Aug 2020
Abstract
Proper soil water retention curves (SWRCs) are necessary for a fair analysis of groundwater flow in unsaturated slopes. The question is whether hydraulic parameters operating in situ can be reliably determined from laboratory tests or physical prototype models in order to interpret and [...] Read more.
Proper soil water retention curves (SWRCs) are necessary for a fair analysis of groundwater flow in unsaturated slopes. The question is whether hydraulic parameters operating in situ can be reliably determined from laboratory tests or physical prototype models in order to interpret and predict soil water distributions in the field. In this paper, some results obtained by tests at different scales (testing on laboratory specimens and a physical prototype) are presented to explore the hydraulic behavior of pyroclastic soils. A theoretical interpretation of the observed behavior in the laboratory and using a physical prototype is proposed by adopting the hysteretic model of Lenhard and Parker. For each tested soil, the main hysteretic loop determined by interpreting experimental tests (at laboratory and prototype scales) overlaps with paths detected by coupling the field measurements of matric suction and water content collected at the site at the same depth. From these results, the physical prototype (medium scale) and the soil specimen (small scale) seem to be acceptable for determinations of SWRC, provided that the air entrapment value is well known. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Strategies for Sustainable Mitigation of Landslide Risk)
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Open AccessArticle
Mapping Landslide Prediction through a GIS-Based Model: A Case Study in a Catchment in Southern Italy
Geosciences 2020, 10(8), 309; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10080309 - 12 Aug 2020
Abstract
Shallow landslides are an increasing concern in Italy and worldwide because of the frequent association with vegetation management. As vegetation cover plays a fundamental role in slope stability, we developed a GIS-based model to evaluate the influence of plant roots on slope safety, [...] Read more.
Shallow landslides are an increasing concern in Italy and worldwide because of the frequent association with vegetation management. As vegetation cover plays a fundamental role in slope stability, we developed a GIS-based model to evaluate the influence of plant roots on slope safety, and also included a landslide susceptibility map. The GIS-based model, 4SLIDE, is a physically based predictor for shallow landslides that combines geological, topographical, and hydrogeological data. The 4SLIDE combines the infinite slope model, TOPMODEL (for the estimation of the saturated water level), and a vegetation root strength model, which facilitates prediction of locations that are more susceptible for shallow landslides as a function of forest cover. The aim is to define the spatial distribution of Factor of Safety (FS) in steep-forested areas. The GIS-based model 4SLIDE was tested in a forest mountain watershed located in the Sila Greca (Cosenza, Calabria, South Italy) where almost 93% of the area is covered by forest. The sensitive ROC analysis (Receiver Operating Characteristic) indicates that the model has good predictive capability in identifying the areas sensitive to shallow landslides. The localization of areas at risk of landslides plays an important role in land management activities because landslides are among the most costly and dangerous hazards. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Strategies for Sustainable Mitigation of Landslide Risk)
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Open AccessArticle
The Role of Cover Thickness in the Rainfall-Induced Landslides of Nocera Inferiore 2005
Geosciences 2020, 10(6), 228; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10060228 - 11 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
In the context of rainfall-induced landslides involving pyroclastic soils, the present work analyzes the influence of cover thickness on slope stability conditions. To this aim, the slope failure that occurred in Nocera Inferiore (4th March 2005) is selected as a reference test case, [...] Read more.
In the context of rainfall-induced landslides involving pyroclastic soils, the present work analyzes the influence of cover thickness on slope stability conditions. To this aim, the slope failure that occurred in Nocera Inferiore (4th March 2005) is selected as a reference test case, providing the actual weather forcing history that preceded the event, the hydraulic characterization of the soil involved, and the lowermost boundary condition (variously fractured calcareous bedrock underlying the cover). By maintaining unchanged soil hydraulic properties, the relationship between domain thickness, initial soil suction distribution, and slope instability induced by critical rainfall is investigated by numerical analyses. These refer to a rigid unsaturated domain subject to one dimensional flow conditions under the effects of incoming (precipitation) and outcoming (evaporation) fluxes applied at the uppermost boundary. The main outcomes indicate that critical event duration increases significantly with increasing the domain thickness. This relationship is strongly influenced by initial suction distribution. A linear relationship results for soil suction that is assumed to be constant at the beginning of the critical event. However, this relationship is quadratic if, by simulating the actual antecedent meteorological conditions, suction at the beginning of the critical event is the main function of the domain thickness. Additional numerical analyses were carried out to characterize the influence of a different lowermost boundary condition. Outcomes indicate that, for the same thickness, critical duration is substantially longer if the cover contact is with the same material as that of the cover. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Strategies for Sustainable Mitigation of Landslide Risk)
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Open AccessArticle
Design of Medium Depth Drainage Trench Systems for the Mitigation of Deep Landsliding
Geosciences 2020, 10(5), 174; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10050174 - 10 May 2020
Abstract
For those slopes where the piezometric regime acts as internal landslide predisposing factor, drainage may represent a more effective mitigation measure than other structural interventions. However, drainage trenches have been generally considered as mitigation measure solely for shallow landslides. More recently, instead, some [...] Read more.
For those slopes where the piezometric regime acts as internal landslide predisposing factor, drainage may represent a more effective mitigation measure than other structural interventions. However, drainage trenches have been generally considered as mitigation measure solely for shallow landslides. More recently, instead, some authors show that the variation in piezometric conditions at large depth is not negligible when medium depth drainage trenches are involved. The paper presents the results of finite element analyses of the transient seepage induced by the installation of systems of drainage trenches of different geometric parameters, and the effect of the drainage system on the stability factor of the slip surface, through 2D limit equilibrium analyses. The pilot region is the Daunia Apennines, where field studies have led to recognize for most of the landslides a “bowl-shaped” slip surface; the results accounting for the Fontana Monte slope at Volturino (Italy), selected as prototype landslide in the assessment of the stabilization efficacy of deep drainage trench systems, is discussed in the following. The study aims at providing indications about the design of the drainage trenches to reduce the pore water pressures on a deep slip surface of such type. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Strategies for Sustainable Mitigation of Landslide Risk)
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Open AccessArticle
Long-Term Displacement Monitoring of Slow Earthflows by Inclinometers and GPS, and Wide Area Surveillance by COSMO-SkyMed Data
Geosciences 2020, 10(5), 171; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10050171 - 08 May 2020
Abstract
With reference to two slow earthflows in structurally complex clayey formations of the Italian southern Apennines, this paper shows the results of a long-term displacement monitoring using integrated systems of inclinometers and GPS, and their comparison with PSInSAR data. A fixed-in-place and traversal [...] Read more.
With reference to two slow earthflows in structurally complex clayey formations of the Italian southern Apennines, this paper shows the results of a long-term displacement monitoring using integrated systems of inclinometers and GPS, and their comparison with PSInSAR data. A fixed-in-place and traversal inclinometer system, first installed in 2004, recorded both the shear displacements along the slip bands, and the internal deformations of the landslide masses. A GPS network of permanent stations and benchmarks, installed in 2006–2007 in 23 strategic points of the slope, allowed for the temporal continuity of displacement monitoring. The two long series of data allowed to evaluate the factor scaling of the PSInSAR COSMO-SkyMed data, although the component of the displacement vector along the line of sight (LOS) was small. PSInSAR data allowed for the monitoring extension to houses and rigid structures that acted as reflectors. The joint data analysis allowed for the comprehension of the main features of the landslides’ kinematics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Strategies for Sustainable Mitigation of Landslide Risk)
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Open AccessArticle
A Case-Study of Sustainable Countermeasures against Shallow Landslides in Central Italy
Geosciences 2020, 10(4), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10040130 - 06 Apr 2020
Abstract
Traditional technical solutions for slope stabilization are generally costly and very impacting on the natural environment and landscape. A possible alternative for improving slope stability is based on the use of naturalistic engineering techniques, characterized by a low impact on the natural environment [...] Read more.
Traditional technical solutions for slope stabilization are generally costly and very impacting on the natural environment and landscape. A possible alternative for improving slope stability is based on the use of naturalistic engineering techniques, characterized by a low impact on the natural environment and being able to preserve the landscape identity and peculiarities. In this work, we present an application of such techniques for slope stabilization along a greenway located in central Italy, characterized by an extraordinary natural environment. First, 22 potentially unstable slopes have been identified and examined; then, among these, two standard type slopes have been selected. For both of them, an appropriate naturalistic engineering work has been proposed and stability analyses have been carried out. These have been performed by considering different piezometric conditions and using two different approaches: (a) a classical deterministic approach, which adopts deterministic values for the mechanical properties of the soils neglecting any uncertainty, and (b) a probabilistic approach that takes into account a statistical variability of the soil property values by means of their probability density functions (PDFs). The geometry of each slope derives from a digital model of the soil with 1 meter resolution, obtained through Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) survey provided by the Italian Ministry of the Environment. The soil mechanical characteristics and their PDFs are derived from the geotechnical soil property database of the Perugia Province. Results show an increase in slope stability produced by the adopted countermeasures measured in terms of Factor of Safety ( F s ), Probability of Failure (PoF) and efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Strategies for Sustainable Mitigation of Landslide Risk)
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Open AccessArticle
Hydraulic Conductivity and Pore Water Pressures in a Clayey Landslide: Experimental Data
Geosciences 2020, 10(3), 102; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10030102 - 12 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
To analyze the response to hydrological conditions of an instable slope in a structurally complex clay formation, the hydraulic conductivity of the subsoil was estimated and pore water pressures were monitored. Two types of field tests were carried out: falling head tests in [...] Read more.
To analyze the response to hydrological conditions of an instable slope in a structurally complex clay formation, the hydraulic conductivity of the subsoil was estimated and pore water pressures were monitored. Two types of field tests were carried out: falling head tests in the Casagrande piezometers and localized seepage measurements in test boreholes. The experimental data show that in a narrow band around the slip surface, the hydraulic conductivity is higher—more than two orders of magnitude—than that of the landslide body and of the stable formation. Furthermore, the data of a long-term monitoring by Casagrande piezometers and vibrating wire cells show that the response of pore water pressures to the site hydrological conditions along the shear band is far faster than in the landslide body and in the stable formation. The slip band seems largely connected to the atmosphere, and the water pressures in the band are correlated with the deep displacement rates of all the inclinometers crossing the active slip surface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Strategies for Sustainable Mitigation of Landslide Risk)
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Open AccessArticle
Evaluating Rockfall Risk: Some Critical Aspects
Geosciences 2020, 10(3), 98; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10030098 - 03 Mar 2020
Cited by 5
Abstract
Rockfalls evolve rapidly and unpredictably in mountain environments and can cause considerable losses to human societies, structures, economical activities, and also natural and historical heritage. Rockfall risk analyses are complex and multi-scale processes involving several disciplines and techniques. This complexity is due to [...] Read more.
Rockfalls evolve rapidly and unpredictably in mountain environments and can cause considerable losses to human societies, structures, economical activities, and also natural and historical heritage. Rockfall risk analyses are complex and multi-scale processes involving several disciplines and techniques. This complexity is due to the main features of rockfall phenomena, which are extremely variable over space and time. Today, a considerable number of methods exists for protecting land, as well as assessing and managing the risk level. These methodologies are often very different from each other, depending on the data required, the purposes of the analysis, and the reference scale adopted, i.e., the analysis level of detail. Nevertheless, several questions still remain open with reference to each phase of the hazard and risk process. This paper is devoted to a general overview of existing risk estimation methodologies and a critical analysis of some open questions with the aim of highlighting possible further research topics. A typical risk assessment framework is exemplified by analyzing a real case study. Each step of the process is treated at both the detailed and the large scale in order to highlight the main characteristics of each level of detail. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Strategies for Sustainable Mitigation of Landslide Risk)
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Open AccessArticle
Seismic and Rainfall Induced Displacements of an Existing Landslide: Findings from the Continuous Monitoring
Geosciences 2020, 10(3), 90; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10030090 - 27 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
“La Sorbella” is a deep-seated existing landslide in a Miocene clayey formation located in central Italy. Given the interaction with a national road, this landslide has been monitored for a long time with inclinometers and hydraulic piezometers. Recently, the monitoring system was implemented [...] Read more.
“La Sorbella” is a deep-seated existing landslide in a Miocene clayey formation located in central Italy. Given the interaction with a national road, this landslide has been monitored for a long time with inclinometers and hydraulic piezometers. Recently, the monitoring system was implemented by adding pressure transducers in the Casagrande cells and by equipping the old inclinometers with in-place probes, to allow a remote reading of the instruments and data recording. This system allowed to identify that the very small average rate of movement observed over one year (1.0–1.5 cm/year) is the sum of small single sliding processes, strictly linked to the sequence of rainfall events. Moreover, data recorded by in-place inclinometer probes detected the response of the landslide to the seismic sequence of 2016 occurring in central Italy. Such in situ measurements during earthquakes, indeed rarely available in the scientific literature, allowed an assessment of the critical acceleration of the sliding mass by means of a back-analysis. The possibility to distinguish the difference between seismic and rainfall induced displacements of the slope underlines the potential of continuous monitoring in the diagnosis of landslide mechanisms. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Strategies for Sustainable Mitigation of Landslide Risk)
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Open AccessArticle
The Effects of Slope Initialization on the Numerical Model Predictions of the Slope-Vegetation-Atmosphere Interaction
Geosciences 2020, 10(2), 85; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10020085 - 24 Feb 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Deep slope movements and, eventually, slope failure, have been often interpreted to be due to slope-vegetation-atmosphere interaction on slopes formed of clayey materials in the Italian Southern-Eastern Apennines, as reported in the literature. Such slopes are generally formed of flysch, within which clay [...] Read more.
Deep slope movements and, eventually, slope failure, have been often interpreted to be due to slope-vegetation-atmosphere interaction on slopes formed of clayey materials in the Italian Southern-Eastern Apennines, as reported in the literature. Such slopes are generally formed of flysch, within which clay is the main lithotype. Such clays are characterized by a disturbed meso-fabric, as an effect of the intense tectonics. The paper presents the results of coupled hydromechanical numerical analyses of the slope-vegetation-atmosphere interaction for a clay slope representative for the geomechanical scenario where such climate-induced deep slope movements have been repeatedly recorded. In the analyses, different model initialization procedures and parameter values were adopted. The comparison of the numerical results with the site data is aimed at assessing the effects of the soil-vegetation-atmosphere interaction taking place in the top strata of the slope, on the stress-strain conditions across the whole slope, and on the slope stability. The comparison between the numerical results of the analyses carried out entailing different initialization stages are intended to evaluate the influence of such a stage on the model predictions. It is found that only when the slope model initialization accounts for the slope loading history, developed over geological time, the numerical predictions get close to the site observations. In such case, the numerical results confirm that deep movements consequent to progressive failure may take place in clay slopes due to the slope-vegetation-atmosphere interaction. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Strategies for Sustainable Mitigation of Landslide Risk)
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Open AccessArticle
Design Strategies to Mitigate Slope Instabilities in Structurally Complex Formations
Geosciences 2020, 10(2), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10020082 - 22 Feb 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Stiff jointed clays (SJC) belong to so-called structurally complex formations in which the macroscale features of the deposit, that is the pattern of discontinuities affecting the soil mass, influence its response at the scale of engineering works. Such peculiar response was largely recognized [...] Read more.
Stiff jointed clays (SJC) belong to so-called structurally complex formations in which the macroscale features of the deposit, that is the pattern of discontinuities affecting the soil mass, influence its response at the scale of engineering works. Such peculiar response was largely recognized during the excavation works carried out for the construction of two new road segments in southern Italy, where several structurally conditioned instability processes were triggered during excavation works. These phenomena mainly involved the Plio-Pleistocene marine clayey formation outcropping along the East coast of the Calabria region, where it constitutes most of the hills interested by construction works. Under a geotechnical perspective, the SJC-formation exhibits good mechanical characteristics at the scale of samples but, if considered as a whole, its behaviour is governed by the presence of discontinuities along which strength is typically at residual. Building on the author’s experience of some exemplary failure events, this paper aims at defining possible design strategies to minimize the risk of adverse and unexpected instability phenomena during construction in structurally complex formations. Design strategies oriented at reducing and possibly avoiding stress releases in the zone of influence were found to be most effective at preventing failures or restoring safety after the occurrence of a failure event. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Strategies for Sustainable Mitigation of Landslide Risk)
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Open AccessArticle
The Undrained Behaviour of an Air-Fall Volcanic Ash
Geosciences 2020, 10(2), 60; https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences10020060 - 05 Feb 2020
Cited by 2
Abstract
Pyroclastic soils are widespread in the world. In particular, they cover a great part of Campania, a densely populated country of Southern Italy, where some distinct volcanic centers are present. In these soils, precipitations can trigger fast flow-like landslides causing destruction and loss [...] Read more.
Pyroclastic soils are widespread in the world. In particular, they cover a great part of Campania, a densely populated country of Southern Italy, where some distinct volcanic centers are present. In these soils, precipitations can trigger fast flow-like landslides causing destruction and loss of human lives. The movement style, the high velocity and the long run-out of these landslides are an indication of the occurrence, in the saturated soil mass, of mechanisms of undrained instability due to the inability of soil to sustain the deviator stress related to the slope condition. This paper reports the results of a wide experimental laboratory program carried out on a volcanic ash, which recently has been the seat of a killer landslide, stressing the factors that govern the undrained response of these materials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Innovative Strategies for Sustainable Mitigation of Landslide Risk)
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