Sliding element simulating the response of slip surfaces and its application for the prediction of earthquake-induced landslide movement using one-dimensional dynamic analyses


Earthquake-induced landslides involve excessive movement of slopes, usually along slip surfaces. This seismic movement of slopes may depend crucially on (a) the soil response along the slip surface, which may include strain softening; (b) the rotation of the sliding mass with displacement towards a gentler configuration; and (c) the dynamic response of the soil profile above the underlying bedrock. Ordinary finite element methods cannot be applied to predict large localized movement along slip surfaces. Even though effects (a)–(c) above have been studied in the bibliography, a cost-effective method for simultaneous simulation to predict the seismic displacement along slip surfaces has not been found in the bibliography. The present work proposes such a cost-effective method. For this purpose, first a new sliding element is introduced which simulates effects (a) and (b) above. For effect (b), a new empirical expression is proposed and validated, while effect (a) is simulated by a previously proposed constitutive model. Then, this element replaces the slip-stick constant resistance element at a previously proposed one-dimensional non-linear dynamic model. A numerical solution of the new model is developed and applied at the well-documented Nikawa landslide. The application illustrated that the method is able to predict the displacement of the landslide, as well as the manner that (i) the stiffness of the soil profile, (ii) the shear stress–displacement response along the slip surface, and (iii) the rotation of the sliding mass affect this displacement.

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The study received support by Sichuan International S&T Cooperation programme (No. 2020YFH0060) and the Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 41977245).

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Correspondence to Constantine A. Stamatopoulos.

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• Proposal of sliding element simulating both the rotation of the sliding mass and the non-linear resistance along the slip surface effects of actual landslides

• Proposal of improved equation simulating the effect of rotation of the sliding mass

• Proposal of a cost-effective method predicting the seismic displacement of landslides by the combination of the proposed sliding element and a one-dimensional dynamic stick-slip model

• The new method is applied successfully to a well-documented landslide

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Di, B., Katsenis, L., Stamatopoulos, C.A. et al. Sliding element simulating the response of slip surfaces and its application for the prediction of earthquake-induced landslide movement using one-dimensional dynamic analyses. Landslides (2021).

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  • Landslides
  • Sliding-block model
  • Dynamic response
  • Seismic displacement
  • Constitutive modeling
  • Slip surface