Comparison of geometric and experimental models for the assessment of the runout and deposition height of a debris flow in cohesive soils
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The objective of this paper is to validate if one dimensional runout and height deposition prediction models are suitable for large-scale landslides (debris flows in cohesive soils) based on a small-laboratory-scale test, because landslides are unpredictable hazards and involve a great quantity of triggering variables which in most cases determine the mass movement behavior during its trajectory. Due to many of these variables cannot be obtained from theoretical methods, since they are natural to the soil composition, and to the high rheological variation this soil masses suffer during all the deposition process, it is necessary finding adaptable tools and assessment methods that require simple information, such as terrain slope and soil water content. This becomes one of the main reasons for this type researches. A laboratory experiment was designed which ground slope and soil water content were involved. Several laboratory-scale trials were performed, analysed, compared and validated with one-dimensional runout prediction models as Fahrböschung model and modified gradient model, where its suitability is discussed. Regarding models that involve more advanced tools for the analysis of a landslide, like the modified gradient model, it can be affirmed that its results are reliable and clearly reflect the sliding mass behaviour in a real scenario, without mentioning the advantages using a tool like geographic information system in cases where an exhaustive analysis of all the variables that influence a landslide is needed. In conclusion, a geometric model as the modified gradient model can be used for important analysis that require runout and height deposition estimations for the calculation of a structure physical vulnerability subject to the lateral forces of a sliding soil mass. This is an important parameter to cities planning. © 2020 Institute of Physics Publishing. All rights reserved.
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