Slopes that are terraced by means of dry-stone retaining walls are very common in the alpine environment. In Valtellina, a typical Italian alpine valley, these slopes are widespread and quite often involved in superficial mass movements that can result in severe damage and casualties. For an in-depth understanding of the processes that can trigger these events, numerical modeling of groundwater movement and a related stability analysis were performed on a detailed scale, based on an intensive monitoring of rainfall events and groundwater movement. Field observations suggest that the formation of a perched groundwater table at the contact between the bedrock and the backfill soil of walls as well as the concomitant saturation of this backfill soil are the determining factors of potential slope failure. The numerical models support these observations. In addition, the models are able to explain the mechanisms of formation of perched water tables, highlighting the factors that can influence groundwater levels and slope instabilities.

Mechanisms of failure on terraced slopes : the Valtellina case (northern Italy) / C.A.S. Camera, T. Apuani, M. Masetti. - In: LANDSLIDES. - ISSN 1612-510X. - 11:1(2014 Feb), pp. 43-54. [10.1007/s10346-012-0371-3]

Mechanisms of failure on terraced slopes : the Valtellina case (northern Italy)

C.A.S. Camera
;
T. Apuani;M. Masetti
2014

Abstract

Slopes that are terraced by means of dry-stone retaining walls are very common in the alpine environment. In Valtellina, a typical Italian alpine valley, these slopes are widespread and quite often involved in superficial mass movements that can result in severe damage and casualties. For an in-depth understanding of the processes that can trigger these events, numerical modeling of groundwater movement and a related stability analysis were performed on a detailed scale, based on an intensive monitoring of rainfall events and groundwater movement. Field observations suggest that the formation of a perched groundwater table at the contact between the bedrock and the backfill soil of walls as well as the concomitant saturation of this backfill soil are the determining factors of potential slope failure. The numerical models support these observations. In addition, the models are able to explain the mechanisms of formation of perched water tables, highlighting the factors that can influence groundwater levels and slope instabilities.
Dry-stone walls; Failure mechanisms; Unsaturated-saturated soils; Numerical modeling; Valtellina
Settore GEO/05 - Geologia Applicata
feb-2014
7-dic-2012
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2434/223222
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