, Volume 15, Issue 3, pp 581–592 | Cite as

Field monitoring and deformation characteristics of a landslide with piles in the Three Gorges Reservoir area

  • Yuming Zhang
  • Xinli Hu
  • Dwayne D. Tannant
  • Guangcheng Zhang
  • Fulin Tan
Technical Note


Landslides often occur within the reservoir area behind dams. In China, a common strategy for stabilizing these landslides is to install large piles through the landslide and into the stable ground below. The piles interact with the landslide and constitute a landslide-stabilizing pile system. The deformation of this system under the reservoir operation is more complicated than the deformation of the landslide itself. Understanding the behaviour of this system is very important to the long-term safety of landslides stabilized with piles in reservoirs. The Majiagou landslide, which was selected as a case study, was triggered by the first impoundment of the reservoir behind the Three Gorges dam. A row of anti-slide piles was installed in the landslide in 2007, but monitoring results found these were ineffective at stabilizing the landslide. Subsequently, in 2011, two longer test piles and an integrated monitoring system were installed in the landslide to better understand the failure mode of the landslide and to measure the deformation characteristics of the landslide-stabilizing pile system. Monitoring results show that the Majiagou landslide is a translational landslide with three slip surfaces. The test piles provided local resistance and partially slowed down the sliding mass behind the piles, and the landslide deformation response to external factors decreased for a time. However, after 2 years, the deformation of the landslide-stabilizing pile system reverted to seasonal stepwise cumulative displacements influenced by cycles of reservoir drawdown and rainfall. The monitoring results provide fundamental data for evaluating the long-term performance of anti-slide piles and for assessing long-term stability of the stabilized landslide under the reservoir operation.


Landslide-stabilizing pile system Deformation characteristics Field monitoring Three Gorges Reservoir area 



This study was supported by the Key National Natural Science Foundation of China (41630643), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41272305), the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Program, No. 2011CB710604).


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Copyright information

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

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yuming Zhang
    • 1
  • Xinli Hu
    • 1
  • Dwayne D. Tannant
    • 2
  • Guangcheng Zhang
    • 1
  • Fulin Tan
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculty of EngineeringChina University of GeosciencesWuhanPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of EngineeringUniversity of British ColumbiaKelownaCanada

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