Dynamics of landslides in argillaceous rocks





Landslides, dynamics, soft rocks, case histories, numerical simulation


The paper analyses landslides in argillaceous rocks characterized by the loss of shear strength on the basal surface. The article focusses on first failures and the effect of internal shearing planes developed because of kinematic compatibility. First failures in strain-softening materials are preceded by progressive failure phenomena, which ends in an accelerated motion. The boundary conditions (loading, unloading, changes in pore water pressure) control the failure and its evolution. This is illustrated by several case histories (Selborne, Viladeses, Sabadell, Aznalcóllar). Through a sensitivity analysis, performed with the help of the “material point method”, it is shown that the run-out depends on the fragility index of the argillaceous rock. The geometry of the sliding surface, mainly determined by the geology and by the weakness planes, controls the evolution of motion and the development shearing surfaces within the mobilized mass. This is analysed in academic examples of compound landslides and also for the case of Cortes landslide (Valencia, Spain).


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