, Volume 15, Issue 12, pp 2449–2464 | Cite as

Comparison of single- and dual-permeability models in simulating the unsaturated hydro-mechanical behavior in a rainfall-triggered landslide

  • Wei Shao
  • Zongji YangEmail author
  • Junjun Ni
  • Ye Su
  • Wen Nie
  • Xieyao Ma
Original Paper


Landslide-prone slopes in earthquake-affected areas commonly feature heterogeneity and high permeability due to the presence of cracks and fissures that were caused by ground shaking. Landslide reactivation in heterogeneous slope may be affected by preferential flow that was commonly occurred under heavy rainfall. Current hydro-mechanical models that are based on a single-permeability model consider soil as a homogeneous continuum, which, however, cannot explicitly represent the hydraulic properties of heterogeneous soil. The present study adopted a dual-permeability model, using two Darcy-Richards equations to simulate the infiltration processes in both matrix and preferential flow domains. The hydrological results were integrated with an infinite slope stability approach, attempting to investigate the hydro-mechanical behavior. A coarse-textured unstable slope in an earthquake-affected area was chosen for conducting artificial rainfall experiment, and in the experiment slope, failure was triggered several times under heavy rainfall. The simulated hydro-mechanical results of both single- and dual-permeability model were compared with the measurements, including soil moisture content, pore water pressure, and slope stability conditions. Under high-intensity rainfall, the measured soil moisture and pore water pressure at 1-m depth showed faster hydrological response than its simulations, which can be regarded as a typical evidence of preferential flow. We found the dual-permeability model substantially improved the quantification of hydro-mechanical processes. Such improvement could assist in obtaining more reliable landslide-triggering predication. In the light of the implementation of a dual-permeability model for slope stability analysis, a more flexible and robust early warning system for shallow landslides hazard in coarse-textured slopes could be provided.


Rainfall-triggered landslides Soil moisture dynamics Dual-permeability model Preferential flow Slope stability 


Funding information

The field experience was financially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 41771021, 41471012, 41807286), the Hundred Young Talents Program of IMHE (Grant No.SDSQB-2016-01), and the Science and Technology Service Network Initiative of Chinese Academy of Science (Grant No.KFJ-EW-STS-094, KFJ-STS-ZDTP-015). The first author was financially supported by the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Grant Nos. 2017M621783, 2018T110527), the International Postdoctoral Exchange Fellowship Program by China Postdoctoral Council (Year 2017), and the Startup Foundation for Introducing Talent of NUIST (No.2017r045).,


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wei Shao
    • 1
  • Zongji Yang
    • 2
    Email author
  • Junjun Ni
    • 3
  • Ye Su
    • 4
  • Wen Nie
    • 5
  • Xieyao Ma
    • 1
  1. 1.Key laboratory of Meteorological Disaster, Ministry of Education / Joint International Research Laboratory of Climate and Environment Change / Collaborative Innovation Centre on Forecast and Evaluation of Meteorological Disasters / School of Hydrology and Water ResourcesNanjing University of Information Science and TechnologyNanjingChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Mountain Hazards and Surface ProcessInstitute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of SciencesChengduChina
  3. 3.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringThe Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyClear Water BayHong Kong SAR
  4. 4.Department of Physical Geography and Geoecology, Faculty of ScienceCharles UniversityPragueCzech Republic
  5. 5.Quanzhou Institute of Equipment ManufacturingHaixi Institutes, Chinese Academy of SciencesQuanzhouChina

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