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Acute sensitivity of landslide rates to initial soil porosity

January 1, 2000

Some landslides move imperceptibly downslope, whereas others accelerate catastrophically. Experimental landslides triggered by rising pore water pressure moved at sharply contrasting rates due to small differences in initial porosity. Wet sandy soil with porosity of about 0.5 contracted during slope failure, partially liquefied, and accelerated within 1 second to speeds over I meter per second. The same soil with porosity of about 0.4 dilated during failure and supped episodically at rates averaging 0.002 meter per second. Repeated slip episodes were induced by gradually rising pore water pressure and were arrested by pore dilation and attendant pore pressure decline.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2000
Title Acute sensitivity of landslide rates to initial soil porosity
DOI 10.1126/science.290.5491.513
Authors R. M. Iverson, M.E. Reid, N.R. Iverson, R.G. LaHusen, M. Logan, J.E. Mann, D.L. Brien
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Science
Series Number
Index ID 70022352
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization

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