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24.01.2019 | Original Paper | Ausgabe 7/2019 Open Access

Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment 7/2019

Geotechnical and hydrological characterization of hillslope deposits for regional landslide prediction modeling

Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment > Ausgabe 7/2019
G. Bicocchi, V. Tofani, M. D’Ambrosio, C. Tacconi-Stefanelli, P. Vannocci, N. Casagli, G. Lavorini, M. Trevisani, F. Catani
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The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s10064-018-01449-z) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.


We attempt a characterization of the geotechnical and hydrological properties of hillslope deposits, with the final aim of providing reliable data to distributed catchment-scale numerical models for shallow landslide initiation. The analysis is based on a dataset built up by means of both field tests and laboratory experiments over 100 sites across Tuscany (Italy). The first specific goal is to determine the ranges of variation of the geotechnical and hydrological parameters that control shallow landslide-triggering mechanisms for the main soil classes. The parameters determined in the deposits are: grain size distribution, Atterberg limits, porosity, unit weight, in situ saturated hydraulic conductivity and shear strength parameters. In addition, mineral phases recognition via X-ray powder diffraction has been performed on the different soil types. The deposits mainly consist of well-sorted silty sands with low plastic behavior and extremely variable gravel and clay contents. Statistical analyses carried on these geotechnical and hydrological parameters highlighted that it is not possible to define a typical range of values only with relation to the main mapped lithologies, because soil characteristics are not simply dependent on the bedrock type from which the deposits originated. A second goal is to explore the relationship between soil type (in terms of grain size distribution) and selected morphometric parameters (slope angle, profile curvature, planar curvature and peak distance). The results show that the highest correlation between soil grain size classes and morphometric attributes is with slope curvature, both profile and planar.
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