CaltechAUTHORS
  A Caltech Library Service

The role of three-dimensional boundary stresses in limiting the occurrence and size of experimental landslides

Prancevic, Jeffrey P. and Lamb, Michael P. and Palucis, Marisa C. and Venditti, Jeremy G. (2018) The role of three-dimensional boundary stresses in limiting the occurrence and size of experimental landslides. Journal of Geophysical Research. Earth Surface, 123 (1). pp. 46-65. ISSN 2169-9003. https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20171121-071706657

[img] PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.

11Mb
[img] Video (AVI) (Movie SI-S01) - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.

184Mb
[img] MS Word (Table SI-S01) - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.

136Kb
[img] Video (AVI) (Movie SI-S02) - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.

39Mb
[img] Video (AVI) (Movie SI-S03) - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.

53Mb
[img] Video (AVI) (Movie SI-S04) - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.

21Mb
[img] Video (AVI) (Movie SI-S05) - Supplemental Material
See Usage Policy.

96Mb

Use this Persistent URL to link to this item: https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20171121-071706657

Abstract

The occurrence of seepage-induced shallow landslides on hillslopes and steep channel beds is important for landscape evolution and natural hazards. Infinite-slope stability models have been applied for seven decades, but sediment beds generally require higher water saturation levels than predicted for failure, and controlled experiments are needed to test models. We initiated 90 landslides in a 5 m long laboratory flume with a range in sediment sizes (D = 0.7, 2, 5, and 15 mm) and hillslope angles (θ = 20° to 43°), resulting in subsurface flow that spanned the Darcian and turbulent regimes, and failures that occurred with subsaturated and supersaturated sediment beds. Near complete saturation was required for failure in most experiments, with water levels far greater than predicted by infinite-slope stability models. Although 3-D force balance models predict that larger landslides are less stable, observed downslope landslide lengths were typically only several decimeters, not the entire flume length. Boundary stresses associated with short landslides can explain the increased water levels required for failure, and we suggest that short failures are tied to heterogeneities in granular properties. Boundary stresses also limited landslide thicknesses, and landslides progressively thinned on lower gradient hillslopes until they were one grain diameter thick, corresponding to a change from near-saturated to supersaturated sediment beds. Thus, landslides are expected to be thick on steep hillslopes with large frictional stresses acting on the boundaries, whereas landslides should be thin on low-gradient hillslopes or in channel beds with a critical saturation level that is determined by sediment size.


Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JF004410DOIArticle
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/2017JF004410/abstractPublisherArticle
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Prancevic, Jeffrey P.0000-0003-1890-7551
Lamb, Michael P.0000-0002-5701-0504
Palucis, Marisa C.0000-0003-0034-5810
Venditti, Jeremy G.0000-0002-2876-4251
Additional Information:© 2017 American Geophysical Union. Received 23 JUN 2017; Accepted 21 OCT 2017; Accepted article online 21 NOV 2017; Published online 9 JAN 2018. Brian Fuller helped greatly with the experimental design and instrumentation. Jabari Jones helped conduct several of the experiments. Our theoretical considerations benefitted from discussions with David Milledge, Richard Iverson, Bill Dietrich, Jose Andrade, Victor Tsai, and Jim Rice. This manuscript was improved following the thoughtful reviews of David Milledge, John Buffington, and an anonymous reviewer. Experimental data can be found in the supporting information. Funding for this work was provided by NSF grants EAR-0922199, EAR-1349115, and EAR-1452337; the Terrestrial Hazards Observation and Reporting center (THOR) at Caltech; and Uniscientia Stiftung through the ETH Foundation.
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
NSFEAR-0922199
NSFEAR-1349115
NSFEAR-1452337
Terrestrial Hazards Observation and Reporting (THOR) CenterUNSPECIFIED
Uniscientia StiftungUNSPECIFIED
ETH FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:slope stability; shallow landslides; landslide experiments; landslide size
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20171121-071706657
Persistent URL:https://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20171121-071706657
Official Citation:Prancevic, J. P., Lamb, M. P., Palucis, M. C., & Venditti, J. G. (2018). The role of three-dimensional boundary stresses in limiting the occurrence and size of experimental landslides. Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, 123, 46–65. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JF004410
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:83382
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:21 Nov 2017 16:59
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 19:05

Repository Staff Only: item control page