Advertisement

Landslides

pp 1–12 | Cite as

Physical mechanical characterization of a rockslide shear zone by standard and unconventional tests

  • S. AlbertiEmail author
  • G. Wang
  • G. Dattola
  • G. B. Crosta
Original Paper
  • 66 Downloads

Abstract

Field and monitoring evidences show that deformation in a rockslide is predominantly localized along a basal shear zone. Mineralogic, grain size, thickness, and fabric characteristics of the shear zone control its behavior and the possible evolution of the rockslide from a slow creeping to a fast moving one. Standard experimental tests can characterize the material from the strength and the deformability, but they are not able to reproduce the in-situ conditions. In this paper, we discuss the results from campaign of experimental tests to characterize the shear zone behavior sampled from a rock-slide. In particular, the shear zone behavior and its evolution are investigated via conventional (direct shear, standard triaxial) and unconventional laboratory testing (with a LHV low-to-high-velocity ring shear apparatus). By LHV tests, it is possible to impose and monitor shearing displacement and velocity and the pore water pressure, simulating in-situ conditions. The tests were carried out on samples collected from boreholes through cataclastic shear zones from the Mont de La Saxe rockslide (Western Italian Alps) containing both phyllosilicates (XRF quantify in about 20%) and graphite (about 10%). Investigations reveal a grain-size reduction in some tests (up to 1%) and a preferential particle alignment in the shear zone. Mechanical investigations evidence a marked creep behavior characterized by two stages after the application of the loading steps. Nevertheless, the stress increments are imposed with a prefixed value, and the viscous displacement rate increases due to the damaging process. Finally, the mean values of the viscous parameters are computed considering Newtonian viscosity law range from 6.40 × 106 to 6.39 × 107 kPa s for the transition phase and from 2.01 × 108 to 5.89 × 109 kPa s for the steady state and according to the tangential stress increment.

Keywords

Rockslide Shear zone Phyllosilicates Graphite Ring shear tests Creep 

Notes

Acknowledgments

S. Alberti was funded by a Regione Valle D’Aosta grant. We thank Davide Bertolo, Patrick Thuegaz and Mauro Ghilardini from the Regione Valle d’Aosta Geological Survey. We are grateful to Serena Rigamonti, Nicoletta Fusi, Paolo Gentile, Lucia Galimberti for support in the laboratory testing, and Toshitaka Kamai for hosting us at the DPRI Kyoto. We thank the editor and two anonymous reviewers for the comments which have ultimately contributed to the robustness of this paper. The data presented and discussed in this paper can be requested directly to the authors.

References

  1. Agung MW, Sassa K, Fukuoka H, Wang G (2004) Evolution of shear-zone structure in undrained ring-shear tests. Landslides 1(2):101–112Google Scholar
  2. Aladekomo JB, Bragg RH (1990) Structural transformations induced in graphite by grinding: analysis of 002 X-ray diffraction line profiles. Carbon 28(6):897–906Google Scholar
  3. Angeli M-G, Gasparetto P, Menotti RM, Pasuto A, Silvano S (1996) A visco-plastic model for slope analysis applied to a mudslide in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. Q J Eng Geol Hydrogeol 29(3):233–240Google Scholar
  4. Antoine P, Pairis J, Pairis B (1975) Quelques observations nouvelles sur la structure de la couverture sedimentaire interne du massif du mont-blanc, entre le Col du Ferret (frontiere Italo-Suisse) et la tete des fours (Savoie, France). Geol Alpine 51:5–23Google Scholar
  5. ASTM D4318-17e1 (2017). Standard test methods for liquid limit, plastic limit, and plasticity index of soils, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PAGoogle Scholar
  6. ASTM D6913/D6913M-17 (2017). Standard test methods for particle-size distribution (gradation) of soils using sieve analysis, ASTM International, West Conshohocken, PAGoogle Scholar
  7. Bishop AW, Green GE, Garga VK, Andresen A, Brown JD (1971) A new ring shear apparatus and its application to the measurement of residual strength. Geotechnique 21(4):273–328Google Scholar
  8. Broccolato, M., Cancelli, P., Crosta, G. B., Tamburini, A., and Alberto, W. (2011). Tecniche di rilievo e monitoraggio della frana di mont de la saxe (Courmayeur). XXIV Convegno Nazionale di Geotecnica, Innovazione Tecnologica nell’ingegneria Geotecnica, NapoliGoogle Scholar
  9. Bromhead, E. N., and Dixon, N. (1984). Porewater pressure observations in the coastal cliffs at the Isle of Sheppey, England. Proc., 4th Int. Symposium on Landslides, Toronto, 1, 385–390Google Scholar
  10. Collettini C, Niemeijer A, Viti C, Marone C (2009) Fault zone fabric and fault weakness. Nature 462(7275):907–910Google Scholar
  11. Corominas J, Moya J, Ledesma A, Lloret A, Gili JA (2005) Prediction of ground displacements and velocities from groundwater level changes at the Vallcebre landslide (Eastern Pyrenees, Spain). Landslides 2(2):83–96Google Scholar
  12. Crosta GB, Di Prisco C, Frattini P, Frigerio G, Castellanza R, Agliardi F (2014) Chasing a complete understanding of the triggering mechanisms of a large rapidly evolving rockslide. Landslides 11(5):747–764Google Scholar
  13. Di Maio C, Vassallo R, Vallario M (2013) Plastic and viscous shear displacements of a deep and very slow landslide in stiff clay formation. Eng Geol 162:53–66Google Scholar
  14. Engl DA, Fellin W, Kieffer DS, Zangerl C (2010) A novel approach for assessing the deformation characteristics of a rockslide. In: Williams AL, Pinches GM, Chin CY, McMorran TJ, Massey CI (eds) Proceedings of the 11th IAEG congress. Taylor & Francis, Auckland, pp 1530–1545Google Scholar
  15. Feda J (2002) Notes on the effect of grain crushing on the granular soil behaviour. Eng Geol 63(1–2):93–98Google Scholar
  16. Fernández-Merodo JA, García-Davalillo JC, Herrera G, Mira P, Pastor M (2014) 2D viscoplastic finite element modelling of slow landslides: the Portalet case study (Spain). Landslides 11(1):29–42Google Scholar
  17. Fossen H, Cavalcante GCG (2017) Shear zones–a review. Earth Sci Rev 171:434–455Google Scholar
  18. Fukuoka H, Sassa K, Wang G, Sasaki R (2006) Observation of shear zone development in ring-shear apparatus with a transparent shear box. Landslides 3:239–251Google Scholar
  19. Gasparetto P, Mosselman M, Van Asch TW (1996) The mobility of the Alvera landslide (Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy). Geomorphology 15(3–4):327–335Google Scholar
  20. Henderson IHC, Ganerød GV, Braathen A (2010) The relationship between particle characteristics and frictional strength in basal fault breccias: implications for fault-rock evolution and rockslide susceptibility. Tectonophysics 486:132–149Google Scholar
  21. Hu W, Xu Q, Wang G, Scaringi G, Mcsaveney M, Hicher PY (2017) Shear resistance variations in experimentally sheared mudstone granules: a possible shear-thinning and thixotropic mechanism. Geophys Res Lett 44(21):11,040–11,050Google Scholar
  22. Hutchinson JN (1969) A reconsideration of the coastal landslides at Folkestone Warren, Kent. Geotechnique 19(1):6–38Google Scholar
  23. Kenney, T. C. (1967). The influence of mineral composition on the residual strength of natural soilsGoogle Scholar
  24. KristmannsdÓttir, H. (1979). Alteration of Basaltic Rocks by Hydrothermal-Activity at 100–300 C. In Developments in sedimentology (Vol. 27, pp. 359–367). ElsevierGoogle Scholar
  25. Larson, A. C. and R. B. Von Dreele. 1994. General Structure Analysis System (GSAS) Manual. LANSCE, MS-H805, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NMGoogle Scholar
  26. Leloup P, Arnaud N, Sobel E, Lacassin R (2005) Alpine thermal and structural evolution of the highest external crystalline massif: the mont blanc. Tectonics 24(4)Google Scholar
  27. Lupini JF, Skinner AE, Vaughan PR (1981) The drained residual strength of cohesive soils. Geotechnique 31(2):181–213Google Scholar
  28. Luzzani L, Coop MR (2002) On the relationship between particle breakage and the critical state of sands. Soils Found 42(2):71–82Google Scholar
  29. Moore DE, Lockner DA (2008) Talc friction in the temperature range 25–400 C: relevance for fault-zone weakening. Tectonophysics 449(1–4):120–132Google Scholar
  30. Okada Y, Sassa K, Fukuoka H (2004) Excess pore pressure and grain crushing of sands by means of undrained and naturally drained ring-shear tests. Eng Geol 75(3–4):325–343Google Scholar
  31. Oohashi K, Hirose T, Shimamoto T (2011) Shear-induced graphitization of carbonaceous materials during seismic fault motion: experiments and possible implications for fault mechanics. J Struct Geol 33(6):1122–1134Google Scholar
  32. Oohashi K, Hirose T, Kobayashi K, Shimamoto T (2012) The occurrence of graphite-bearing fault rocks in the Atotsugawa fault system, Japan: origins and implications for fault creep. J Struct Geol 38:39–50Google Scholar
  33. Perello P, Piana F, Martinotti G (1999) Neo-alpine structural features at the boundary between the penninic and helvetic domains (pr’e s. didier-entr’eves, aosta valley, Italy). Eclogae Geol Helv 92:347–359Google Scholar
  34. Ranalli M, Gottardi G, Medina-Cetina Z, Nadim F (2009) Uncertainty quantification in the calibration of a dynamic viscoplastic model of slow slope movements. Landslides 7(1):31–41Google Scholar
  35. Sassa K (1988) Special lecture: geotechnical model for the motion of landslides. In Landslides, Proceedings of the 5th International Symposium on Landslides, Lausanne, Switzerland. Edited by C. Bonnard. A.A. Balkema, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, Vol. 1, pp. 37–55Google Scholar
  36. Sassa K (1997) A new intelligent-type dynamic loading ring shear apparatus. Landslide News 10:33Google Scholar
  37. Sassa K, Wang G, Fukuoka H (2003) Performing undrained shear tests on saturated sands in a new intelligent type of ring shear apparatus. Geotech Test J 26(3):257–265Google Scholar
  38. Sassa K, Fukuoka H, Wang G, Ishikawa N (2004) Undrained dynamic-loading ring-shear apparatus and its application to landslide dynamics. Landslides 1(1):7–19Google Scholar
  39. Schäbitz M, Janssen C, Wenk HR, Wirth R, Schuck B, Wetzel HU, Dresen G (2018) Microstructures in landslides in northwest China–implications for creeping displacements? J Struct Geol 106:70–85Google Scholar
  40. Schulze, D. G. (1994). Differential X-ray diffraction analysis of soil minerals. Quantitative methods in soil mineralogy, (quantitativemet), 412–429Google Scholar
  41. Schulz WH, Smith JB, Wang G, Jiang Y, Roering JJ (2018) Clayey landslide initiation and acceleration strongly modulated by soil swelling. Geophys Res Lett 45(4):1888–1896Google Scholar
  42. Skempton AW, Petley DJ (1967) The strength along structural discontinuities in stiff clays. Proc. Geotechnical Conf., Oslo 2:29–47Google Scholar
  43. Skempton AW (1985) Residual strength of clays in landslides, folded strata and the laboratory. Geotechnique 35(1):3–18Google Scholar
  44. Storti F, Billi A, Salvini F (2003) Particle size distributions in natural carbonate fault rocks: insights for non-self-similar cataclasis. Earth Planet Sci Lett 206(1–2):173–186Google Scholar
  45. Strauhal T, Zangerl C, Fellin W, Holzmann M, Engl DA, Brandner R, Tropper P, Tessadri R (2017) Structure, mineralogy and geomechanical properties of shear zones of deep-seated rockslides in metamorphic rocks (Tyrol, Austria). Rock Mech Rock Eng 50(2):419–438Google Scholar
  46. Tiwari B, Marui H (2005) A new method for the correlation of residual shear strength of the soil with mineralogical composition. J Geotech Geoenviron 131(9):1139–1150Google Scholar
  47. Wang G, Sassa K (2003) Pore-pressure generation and movement of rainfall-induced landslides: effects of grain size and fine-particle content. Eng Geol 69(1–2):109–125Google Scholar
  48. Wang G, Sassa K, Fukuoka H, Tada T (2007) Experimental study on the shearing behavior of saturated silty soils based on ring-shear tests. J Geotech Geoenviron 133(3):319–333Google Scholar
  49. Wang G, Suemine A, Schulz WH (2010) Shear-rate-dependent strength control on the dynamics of rainfall-triggered landslides, Tokushima prefecture, Japan. Earth Surf Process Landf 35(4):407–416Google Scholar
  50. Warr LN, Cox S (2001) Clay mineral transformations and weakening mechanisms along the alpine fault, New Zealand. Geol Soc Lond, Spec Publ 186(1):85–101Google Scholar
  51. Wen BP, Aydin A, Duzgoren-Aydin NS, Li YR, Chen HY, Xiao SD (2007) Residual strength of slip zones of large landslides in the Three Gorges area, China. Eng Geol 93(3-4):82–98Google Scholar
  52. Wenk H-R, Kanitpanyacharoen W, Voltolini M (2010) Preferred orientation of phyllosilicates: comparison of fault gouge, shale and schist. J Struct Geol 32(4):478–489Google Scholar
  53. Yamasaki S, Chigira M (2011) Weathering mechanisms and their effects on landsliding in pelitic schist. Earth Surf Process Landf 36(4):481–494Google Scholar
  54. Yamasaki S, Chigira M, Petley DN (2016) The role of graphite layers in gravitational deformation of pelitic schist. Eng Geol 208:29–38Google Scholar
  55. Zangerl C, Eberhardt E, Perzlmaier S (2010) Kinematic behaviour and velocity characteristics of a complex deep-seated crystalline rockslide system in relation to its interaction with a dam reservoir. Eng Geol 112(1–4):53–67Google Scholar
  56. Zulauf G, Kleinschmidt G, Oncken O (1990) Brittle deformation and graphitic cataclasites in the pilot research well KTB-VB (Oberpfalz, FRG). Geol Soc Lond, Spec Publ 54(1):97–103Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Università degli Studi di Milano BicoccaMilanItaly
  2. 2.Disaster Prevention Research InstituteKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

Personalised recommendations