Physical model tests to determine the mechanism of submarine landslides under the effect of sea waves

Abstract

Submarine landslides are a common type of disaster which threaten property and the safety of human life. To effectively prevent and control such disasters, we conduct a series of large-scale physical model tests to determine the mechanism of submarine landslides. First, a large-scale physical model test system is designed and developed, including flume test frame, wave-making system, wave-absorbing system, and data monitoring system. In the tests, we investigate the effect of different sea waves by changing the parameters of the wave-making system and the influence of the slope inclination by constructing different models. Data regarding the wave pressure acting on the slope surface, seepage pressure, and displacement are monitored during the test procedure. The test results show that the seepage pressure in the faults varies cyclically with the sea waves and is lower at internal points than at outcrops. If the wave loading time is sufficiently long, the seepage pressure and displacement deformation in the fault zone will gradually increase. In other words, failures in fault zones precede submarine landslides. The weak fault zone provides the preferred sliding surface, and the sea waves supply the external dynamic energy for submarine landslides. The conclusions provide guidelines for similar engineering and research.

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Acknowledgements

This work was financially supported by the Program of National Natural Science Foundation of P.R. China (Grant Nos. 51709159, 51679131) and China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Grant Nos. 2017T100492, 2017M612273), the Key Research and Development Project of Shandong Province (Grant No. 2017GSF220014), the Special Foundation of Postdoctoral Innovation Project of Shandong Province (Grant No. 201702014) and Open Foundation of State Key Laboratory for Geomechanics and Deep Underground Engineering, China University of Mining & Technology (Grant No. SKLGDUE K1702), and State Key Laboratory of Hydrology-Water Resources and Hydraulic Engineering (Grant No. 2016491211). The authors are grateful to Dr. Yuan Yongcai, Dr. Wang Kang, Yang Xin, Qin Chengshuai, and Wang Lipu from Shandong University for their help during the physical model test. The authors would like to express appreciation to the reviewers for their valuable comments and suggestions that helped to improve the quality of the paper.

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Correspondence to Cong Liu or Zongqing Zhou.

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Liu, C., Li, S., Zhou, Z. et al. Physical model tests to determine the mechanism of submarine landslides under the effect of sea waves. Nat Hazards 102, 1451–1474 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11069-020-03982-1

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Keywords

  • Submarine landslide
  • Physical model tests
  • Stability analysis
  • Effect of sea waves