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Clay landslide movement triggered by artificial vibrations: New insights from monitoring data.
Revellino P., Guerriero L., Maresca R., Guadagno F.M.
Slope stability is influenced by a number of factors that modify the resisting/acting force ratio control landslide initiation and movement velocity. Among these, artificial vibrations have been identified as an important degrading factor for soil strength, but it is not fully clear if they can trigger or modulate movements of clay landslides. To contribute to a better understanding of the potential effect of vibrations on landslide movement, monitoring data acquired by a seismic station at the toe of the Pietrafitta landslide were analyzed. The landslide adjoins the SS87 national road that suffered periodic closure due to landslide activity and in April 2016 operated in the daytime only for risk mitigation purpose. This condition promoted a better identification of a potential cause-effect relation between traffic vibration and landslide movement. Results suggest that in condition of incipient movement, artificial vibrations, also of limited amplitude, are able to directly initiate clay landslide movement that, due to the viscous nature of the involved material, exhibits a specific displacement pattern that is not consistent with a sliding block model.