Articles | Volume 6, issue 1
07 Feb 2006
07 Feb 2006

Mathematical modelling of the landslide occurred at Gagliano Castelferrato (Italy)

M. Maugeri, E. Motta, and E. Raciti

Abstract. Shallow slopes in clayey colluvial covers are often involved in progressive downhill motion with discontinuous rate of movements, depending on fluctuations in pore-water pressure.

In geotechnical engineering research on natural slopes, the main efforts have been concentrated on stability analysis, always with a rigid perfectly plastic body assumption. In case of slow slope movements, however, the notion of stability losses its sense, so the main question is not to evaluate a stability factor, but to model a velocity field and to define the kinematic and dynamic features of the movement (mobility analysis).

Many authors, in their researches, deal with slow slope movements and for the complexity of the problem and the great number of parameters involved they agree about applying numerical techniques (FEM, FDM) and advanced material modelling (elastoviscoplasticity) and suggest to calibrate the involved parameters values with the help of ''back analyses'' of existing case histories.

In this paper a mathematical model predicting the landslide body viscous deformations, is presented. The model has been implemented in a computer FDM code, and has been tested on some well known case histories. Here it is applied to the case of a landslide occurred at Gagliano Castelferrato (Sicily – Italy), where a great number of field measurements was available.