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Challenges in monitoring and managing engineered slopes in a changing climate

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Paul Hughes, Rosalind Hen-Jones, Dr Ross Stirling, Professor Stephanie Glendinning


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Geotechnical asset owners need to know which parts of their asset network are vulnerable to climate change induced failure in order to optimise future investment. Protecting these vulnerable slopes requires monitoring systems capable of identifying and alerting to asset operators changes in the internal conditions that precede failure. Current monitoring systems are heavily reliant on point sensors which can be difficult to interpret across slope scale. This paper presents challenges to producing such a system and research being carried out to address some of these using electrical resistance tomography (ERT). Experimental results show that whilst it is possible to measure soil water content indirectly via resistivity the relationship between resistivity and water content will change over time for a given slope. If geotechnical parameters such as pore water pressure are to be estimated using this method then ERT systems will require integrating with more conventional geotechnical instrumentation to ensure correct representative information is provided. The paper also presents examples of how such data can be processed and communicated to asset owners for the purposes of asset management.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hughes PN, Hen-Jones R, Stirling RA, Glendinnning S, Gunn DA, Chambers JE, Dijkstra TA, Smethurst J, Flesjo K

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: 3rd European Conference on Unsaturated Soils E-UNSAT 2016

Year of Conference: 2016

Print publication date: 01/01/2016

Online publication date: 12/09/2016

Acceptance date: 02/04/2016

ISSN: 2267-1242

Publisher: EDP Sciences


DOI: 10.1051/e3sconf/20160904009

Series Title: E3S Web of Conferences