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Interpretation of landslide mechanisms based on numerical modelling: two case-histories

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Gaetano EliaORCiD


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Numerical modelling represents a powerful technique to develop a quantitative assessment of the stress-strain mechanisms leading to either first-time slope failures or evolution of slopes already failed in the past. In this perspective, a valid interpretation of the landslide behaviour and an adequate strategy of risk mitigation can be achieved from a numerical validation of both the causative factors and the evolution mechanism that have been previously assumed according to detailed phenomenological or simple analytical approaches. This paper presents two case histories of slow landslides in clay slopes, both located in Puglia (Southern Italy), for which detailed phenomenological studies have been firstly carried out to infer assumptions on the slope failure mechanisms that have been later on verified by means of numerical analyses accounting for soil mechanical behaviour and slope hydraulic processes. The first case study concerns the first-time failure of a stiff clay slope in Lucera, which has been induced by the slow dissipation of negative excess pore water pressures generated by previous quarry excavation at the slope toe. The second case history is represented by the analysis of the stress-strain evolution of the ancient Volturino landslide, which is observed to reactivate mainly in wet seasons.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Lollino P, Cotecchia F, Elia G, Mitaritonna G, Santaloia F

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: European Journal of Environmental and Civil Engineering

Year: 2016

Volume: 20

Issue: 9

Pages: 1032-1053

Online publication date: 03/12/2014

Acceptance date: 14/10/2014

ISSN (print): 1964-8189

ISSN (electronic): 2116-7214

Publisher: Taylor & Francis


DOI: 10.1080/19648189.2014.985851


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Funder referenceFunder name
Italian Ministry for Research and University (PRIN)
PS_119Apulia Region