Articles | Volume 3, issue 6
31 Dec 2003
31 Dec 2003

Numerical modelling of large landslides stability and runout

G. B. Crosta, S. Imposimato, and D. G. Roddeman

Abstract. Modelling of flow-like landslides is one of the possible approaches that can be used to simulate landslide instability and flow development. Models based on continuum mechanics and associated with a versatile rheological model are usually preferred to predict landslide runout and relevant parameters. A different approach has been used in this research. We have developed a 2-D/3-D finite element code to analyse slope stability and to model runout of mass movements characterised by very large displacements. The idea was to be able to use different material laws already known, tested and verified for granular materials. The implemented materials laws include classical elasto-plasticity, with a linear elastic part and different applicable yield surfaces with associated and non-associated flow rules. The application of Finite Element methods to model landslide run-out, contrasts previous research where typically depth-averaged equivalent-fluid approaches were adopted. The code has been applied to the simulation of large rock avalanches and rapid dry flows in different materials and under different geological and geomorphological conditions.