Water-Related Geoenvironmental Issues

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441). This special issue belongs to the section "Hydrogeology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2024) | Viewed by 9330

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Faculty of Engineering, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
Interests: geological disaster; underground water-sealed storage; rock cavern engineering
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Engineering, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
Interests: landslide mechanisms; transport mechanisms of rock avalanche; remediation of groundwater and soil pollution; slope stability assessment
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Engineering, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China
Interests: slope engineering; heterogeneity characterization; data fusion and risk assessment
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

This Special Issue collects articles from the research on fundamental and up-to-date scientific results related to water-related geoenvironmental issues. Articles are welcome on topics associated with numerical modeling, spatiotemporal modeling, data fusion, and field investigation using hydrogeological approaches, geophysical approaches, geochemical approaches, and remote sensing. We also welcome studies associated with groundwater contamination transport and remediation, geothermal energy exchange, and geological disasters and environmental disasters evaluation and prevention. We especially encourage water-related geoenvironmental studies that solve multi-scale and interdisciplinary problems.

This Special Issue focuses on, but is not limited to, the following aspects:

  • Mechanisms of rainfall-induced landslides and debris flow;
  • Numerical modeling of instability processes;
  • Field and laboratory investigations of groundwater flow and stability;
  • Groundwater and soil contamination transport and remediation;
  • Rock and soil heterogeneity and its engineering application;
  • Geological disaster prevention;
  • Underground engineering construction;
  • Geological disaster risk assessment;
  • Stability evaluation and utilization of rock and soil;
  • Geological environmental protection;
  • The stability of the surrounding rock system of large underground water-sealed caverns;
  • Evaluation and design of underground water-sealed and energy-storage caverns;
  • Theoretical and experimental study on the stability evaluation of complex slope rock mass;
  • Hydrological processes in hillslopes;
  • Sampling approaches for slope stability analyses.

Prof. Dr. Echuan Yan
Prof. Dr. Ming Zhang
Dr. Jingsen Cai
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • geological disaster
  • remediation of soil contamination
  • groundwater contamination
  • slope stability
  • underground water-sealed cavern
  • hydrological processes
  • sampling approaches
  • mechanisms
  • heterogeneity

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

17 pages, 4574 KiB  
Article
Groundwater Responses of Foundation Subjected to Water Level Fluctuation of Reservoir Considering Variability of Layered Structure
by Ruixuan Tang, Tao Wen, Zhenyan Bao, Yankun Wang and Mingyi Hu
Water 2024, 16(1), 81; https://doi.org/10.3390/w16010081 - 25 Dec 2023
Viewed by 826
Abstract
The effect of the variability in a layered structure, characterized by the spatial variability of the saturated hydraulic conductivity, on the distribution of a pressure head p in a foundation subjected to water level fluctuation in a reservoir is investigated with the aid [...] Read more.
The effect of the variability in a layered structure, characterized by the spatial variability of the saturated hydraulic conductivity, on the distribution of a pressure head p in a foundation subjected to water level fluctuation in a reservoir is investigated with the aid of the random field theory, Karhunen–Loève (K-L) expansion, first-order moment approach, and cross-correlation analysis. The results show that the variability in the foundation structure has significant impacts on the groundwater response to the reservoir’s water level fluctuations. Regions with relatively large uncertainties of the p and σp values in the foundation are those around the initial water level at the reservoir side, and those at the distal end away from the reservoir. In addition, there is a larger variance of Ks, denoted as σlnKs2, a larger correlation scale in the horizontal direction λh, a larger correlation scale in the vertical direction λv, and a larger one-way time consumption of fluctuations T to a larger uncertainty in p. Moreover, the four factors (σlnKs2, λh, λv, and T) all have positive correlations with σp. σlnKs2 has the largest impact on σp in the foundation, λv has the second largest impact, and λh has the smallest impact. A foundation with small Ks values around the initial water level at the reservoir side and large Ks values around the highest water level at the reservoir side may produce larger p values in the foundation. These results yield useful insight into the effect of the variability in a layered structure on the distribution of the pressure head in a foundation subjected to water level fluctuation in a reservoir. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water-Related Geoenvironmental Issues)
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20 pages, 3899 KiB  
Article
Research on Extension Evaluation Method of Mudslide Hazard Based on Analytic Hierarchy Process–Criteria Importance through Intercriteria Correlation Combination Assignment of Game Theory Ideas
by Hui Li, Xueshan Bai, Xing Zhai, Jianqing Zhao, Xiaolong Zhu, Chenxi Li, Kehui Liu and Qizhi Wang
Water 2023, 15(16), 2961; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15162961 - 17 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1056
Abstract
Mountain mudslides have emerged as one of the main geological dangers in the Yanshan region of China as a result of excessive rains. In light of this, a multi-step debris flow hazard assessment method combining optimal weights and a topological object metamodel is [...] Read more.
Mountain mudslides have emerged as one of the main geological dangers in the Yanshan region of China as a result of excessive rains. In light of this, a multi-step debris flow hazard assessment method combining optimal weights and a topological object metamodel is proposed based on game theory ideas. First of all, based on the geological environment research in Yanshan area, this paper determines the mudslide danger evaluation indexes according to the field investigation and remote sensing image data, then combines them with the theory of topological object element evaluation, utilizes the idea of game theory, and carries out the optimal combination of the weight coefficients derived from hierarchical analysis and the CRITIC method to obtain the final comprehensive weights of the indexes, and forms the combination-assigning topological object element of the mudslide danger topological model. The results suggest that improved weight coefficients can increase topological evaluation precision, which is more in line with objective reality than the traditional method and has some application utility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water-Related Geoenvironmental Issues)
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11 pages, 13194 KiB  
Article
Stability Prediction of Rainfall-Induced Shallow Landslides: A Case Study of Mountainous Area in China
by Kun Song, Luyang Han, Di Ruan, Hui Li and Baiheng Ma
Water 2023, 15(16), 2938; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15162938 - 15 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1039
Abstract
Heavy rainfall induces shallow landslides in the mountainous areas of China. There is a need for regional slope stability prediction to reduce the damage to infrastructure, residents, and the economy. This study attempts to demarcate areas prone to rainfall-induced shallow landslides using the [...] Read more.
Heavy rainfall induces shallow landslides in the mountainous areas of China. There is a need for regional slope stability prediction to reduce the damage to infrastructure, residents, and the economy. This study attempts to demarcate areas prone to rainfall-induced shallow landslides using the transient rainfall infiltration and grid-based slope stability (TRIGRS) model under different rainfall conditions. After inputting the engineering geological and geotechnical characteristic data of the area in China, the slope stability was simulated and verified by a deformation monitoring landslide. The slope stability gradually declined under the influence of precipitation from 5–8 July 2021. Slope stability gradually decreased under the predicted rainfall intensity of 60 mm/d for 6 days. The percentage of the slope area with a factor of safety (FS) less than 1.0 increased from 0.00% (1 d) to 3.18% (6 d). The study results could be used for hazards mitigation in this region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water-Related Geoenvironmental Issues)
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16 pages, 3414 KiB  
Article
Effect of Biochar on Soil-Water Characteristics of Soils: A Pore-Scale Study
by Xin Chen, Linfei Li, Xiaofeng Li, Jianyu Kang, Xiang Xiang, Honglian Shi and Xingwei Ren
Water 2023, 15(10), 1909; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15101909 - 17 May 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2021
Abstract
The mechanical and hydraulic properties of soils are largely governed by their soil-water characteristics, which are influenced by factors such as pore size distribution (PSD). While biochar is commonly used as an additive to alter soil properties, its effect on PSD and the [...] Read more.
The mechanical and hydraulic properties of soils are largely governed by their soil-water characteristics, which are influenced by factors such as pore size distribution (PSD). While biochar is commonly used as an additive to alter soil properties, its effect on PSD and the soil water retention curve (SWRC) at the pore scale remains unclear. This study aims to investigate the impact of biochar on PSD and SWRC in soils of different types. The study utilized nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and the filter paper method to obtain the particle size distribution (PSD) curve and soil water retention curve (SWRC) of various types of soils, ranging from fine-grained to coarse-grained, with different amounts of biochar. The results and discussion revealed that the impact of biochar on soil PSD and SWRC varied depending on the soil type and biochar content. In fine-grained soils, the addition of 8% biochar resulted in the greatest decrease in mesopore size and percentage, while in medium-grained soils, 6% biochar had the most significant effect, and in coarse-grained soils, the optimum biochar content was 2%. At low suction states, the addition of 8% and 2% biochar improved the water retention of fine-grained and medium-grained soils, respectively, but had little effect on coarse-grained soils. Overall, the effect of biochar on soil-water characteristics was non-monotonic and depended on the relative sizes of biochar and soil particles. Therefore, selecting the optimum biochar-to-soil ratio requires careful consideration of these factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water-Related Geoenvironmental Issues)
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16 pages, 14584 KiB  
Article
Forecasting the Failure Time of an Expansive Soil Slope Using Digital Image Correlation under Rainfall Infiltration Conditions
by Xueyun Wei, Wenwei Gao, Ruilin Hu, Wei Gao, Yidi Qiu and Yong Li
Water 2023, 15(7), 1328; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15071328 - 28 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1672
Abstract
Expansive soil is one of the most widely distributed special soils in the world. It is widely developed in Henan, Anhui, Guangxi and other places in China, and highly overlaps with densely populated and economically active areas. Expansive soil is considered a typical [...] Read more.
Expansive soil is one of the most widely distributed special soils in the world. It is widely developed in Henan, Anhui, Guangxi and other places in China, and highly overlaps with densely populated and economically active areas. Expansive soil is considered a typical “problematic soil” because its mechanical behaviour is very sensitive to water content changes; such behaviour mainly manifests as swelling upon wetting and shrinking upon drying, so the presence of expansive soil is an important factor in mountain landslide disasters in southern China. Because the particularities of its constituent materials are related to typical physical and mechanical properties, forecasting the failure times of expansive soil slopes remains a global problem. In this study, a series of in situ artificial rainfall experiments were conducted on an excavated expansive soil slope; then, the digital image correlation (DIC) method was applied to monitor the slope surface deformation and crack development. Finally, the failure time of the slope was forecasted using the inverse velocity (INV) and slope (SLO) models. The study results show that the deformation and failure processes of the analysed expansive soil slope had an obvious crack control effect, and the displacement–time curve derived by the DIC method had an obvious “phased change law”. The data points calculated by the INV method were discrete and had high linear fitting requirements, resulting in large failure time forecasts. When the SLO method was used to forecast the failure time, because the values derived in the stable deformation stage were relatively concentrated in the calculation process, an obvious linear relationship was found in only the accelerated deformation stage, so the prediction results were more accurate. Therefore, the SLO method should be preferentially used to forecast the failure of expansive soil slopes with “step-like” displacement. These results enabled us to characterize slide processes and identify the mechanism responsible for the movement of a rainfall-induced expansive soil landslide. The stage deformation and failure mode of expansive soil landslide under rainfall infiltration: “slow deformation—stable deformation—accelerated deformation—instability failure” was revealed. This study is helpful for determining the deformation and failure mechanism of rainfall-induced expansive soil landslide and forecasting expansive soil landslides and providing guidance for controlling landslide hazards in expansive soil areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water-Related Geoenvironmental Issues)
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17 pages, 4447 KiB  
Article
Probabilistic Slope Seepage Analysis under Rainfall Considering Spatial Variability of Hydraulic Conductivity and Method Comparison
by Hao Zou, Jing-Sen Cai, E-Chuan Yan, Rui-Xuan Tang, Lin Jia and Kun Song
Water 2023, 15(4), 810; https://doi.org/10.3390/w15040810 - 19 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1835
Abstract
Due to the spatial variability of hydraulic properties, probabilistic slope seepage analysis becomes necessary. This study conducts a probabilistic analysis of slope seepage under rainfall, considering the spatial variability of saturated hydraulic conductivity. Through this, both the commonly used Monte Carlo simulation method [...] Read more.
Due to the spatial variability of hydraulic properties, probabilistic slope seepage analysis becomes necessary. This study conducts a probabilistic analysis of slope seepage under rainfall, considering the spatial variability of saturated hydraulic conductivity. Through this, both the commonly used Monte Carlo simulation method and the proposed first-order stochastic moment approach are tested and compared. The results indicate that the first-order analysis approach is effective and applicable to the study of flow processes in a slope scenario. It is also capable of obtaining statistics such as mean and variance with a high enough accuracy. Using this approach, higher variabilities in the pressure head and the fluctuation of the phreatic surface in the slope are found with a higher value of the correlation length of the saturated hydraulic conductivity. The Monte Carlo simulation is found to be time-consuming: at least 10,000 realizations are required to reach convergence, and the number of realizations needed is sensitive to the grid density. A coarser grid case requires more realizations for convergence. If the number of realizations is not enough, the results are unreliable. Compared with Monte Carlo simulation, the accuracy of the first-order stochastic moment analysis is generally satisfied when the variance and the correlation length of the saturated hydraulic conductivity are not too large. This study highlights the applicability of the proposed first-order stochastic moment analysis approach in the slope scenario. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Water-Related Geoenvironmental Issues)
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