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Earth Surface Dynamics An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 6, issue 3
Earth Surf. Dynam., 6, 637-649, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-6-637-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Earth Surf. Dynam., 6, 637-649, 2018
https://doi.org/10.5194/esurf-6-637-2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 03 Aug 2018

Research article | 03 Aug 2018

Mechanical state of gravel soil in mobilization of rainfall-induced landslides in the Wenchuan seismic area, Sichuan province, China

Liping Liao1,2,3, Yunchuan Yang1,2,3, Zhiquan Yang4, Yingyan Zhu5, Jin Hu5, and D. H. Steve Zou6 Liping Liao et al.
  • 1College of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, China
  • 2Key Laboratory of Disaster Prevention and Structural Safety of Ministry of Education, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, China
  • 3Guangxi Key Laboratory of Disaster Prevention and Engineering Safety, Guangxi University, Nanning 530004, China
  • 4Faculty of Land Resource Engineering, Kunming University of Science and Technology, Kunming 650500, China
  • 5Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water Conservancy, Chengdu 610041, China
  • 6Department of Civil and Resource Engineering, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS, B3H4K5, Canada

Abstract. Gravel soils generated by the Wenchuan earthquake have undergone natural consolidation for the past decade. However, geological hazards, such as slope failures with ensuing landslides, have continued to pose great threats to the region. In this paper, artificial model tests were used to observe the changes of soil moisture content and pore water pressure, as well as macroscopic and microscopic phenomena of gravel soil. In addition, a mathematical formula of the critical state was derived from the triaxial test data. Finally, the mechanical states of gravel soil were determined. The results had five aspects. (1) The time and mode of the occurrence of landslides were closely related to the initial dry density. The process of initiation was accompanied by changes in density and void ratio. (2) The migration of fine particles and the rearrangement of coarse–fine particles contributed to the reorganization of the microscopic structure, which might be the main reason for the variation of dry density and void ratio. (3) If the confining pressure were the same, the void ratios of soils with constant particle composition would approach approximately critical values. (4) Mechanical state of gravel soil can be determined by the relative position between state parameter (e, p′) and ecp′ planar critical state line, where e is the void ratio, ec is the critical void ratio and p′ is the mean effective stress. (5) In the process of landslide initiation, dilatation and contraction were two types of gravel soil state, but dilatation was dominant. This paper provided insight into interpreting landslide initiation from the perspective of critical state soil mechanics.

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In this paper, artificial model tests were used to observe the changes of soil moisture content and pore water pressure, as well as macroscopic and microscopic phenomena of gravel soil. In addition, the mathematical formula of the critical state was derived from the triaxial test data. Finally, the mechanical states of gravel soil were determined. In the process of landslide initiation, dilatation and contraction were two types of gravel soil state, but dilatation was dominant.
In this paper, artificial model tests were used to observe the changes of soil moisture content...
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