Journal of Mountain Science

Discontinuous slope failures and pore-water pressure variation

Abstract Field experiments were conducted under artificial rainfalls to investigate the processes of soil failures on slope. It is found that the failures were temporally discontinuous and spatially discrete, with a wide range of magnitudes, accompanied by variations of soil moisture and pore-water pressure. Specifically, the experiments indicate that soil failures are more likely to occur on slope with high content of fine particles; the pore-pressure varies in response to soil failures in that the failures evidently affect the pore of the underlying soil. Migration of fine particles from upper to lower part of the slope also impacts the pore-water pressure variations in the slope profile. It is concluded that soil heterogeneity has a significant effect on variation in pore-water pressure, and fine particles transportation influences the building of pore-water pressure, as well as the mass depth, initial porosity, which is key to understanding the spatial characteristics of slope failures.

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