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

Seismic triggering of landslides. Part B: Simulation of dynamic failure processes

H.-B. Havenith, A. Strom, F. Calvetti, and D. Jongmans

Abstract. From field observations it is possible to establish correlations between geological conditions and landslide occurrence. However, in general, it is difficult to assess the affect of individual factors on slope instability because of their mutual interaction. In addition, the dynamic effect of propagating seismic waves significantly increases the complexity of the slope stability problem. Wave diffraction, reflection and focusing effects are dependent on local geological conditions and make it difficult to analyse dynamic sliding mechanisms using field observations alone. As a consequence, in order to examine the influence of various geological and seismic factors on slope movements, it is often necessary to produce numerical models. This paper describes the results of such models as applied to two case studies in Kyrgyzstan: the Ananevo rockslide, located in granite, and the Suusamyr debris slump-flow, situated within soft sediments (see Part A: Havenith et al., 2003). Discrete element modelling (UDEC), adapted both to the discontinuous character of fractured rock and to the heterogeneity of layered mediums, was used. This permitted simulation of deformation mechanisms, including seismically induced bending, block tilting, and slip. Particular attention was paid to the interaction between deformation mechanisms, site-specific amplification effects, and subsurface structure.