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A laboratory investigation on an undisturbed silty sand from a slope prone to landsliding


A laboratory investigation is presented for undisturbed samples of a silty sand under saturated conditions. The soil was sampled from test pits south of Rüdlingen in North-East Switzerland, where a landslide triggering experiment was carried out on a steep forest slope. The aim of the work was to characterise the behaviour of the soil in triaxial tests, in the light of the possible failure mechanisms of the slope. Conventional drained and undrained triaxial tests were conducted to detect critical state conditions as well as peak shear strength as a function of confining pressure. Soil specimens were also exposed to stress paths simulating in situ water pressure increase to study the stress-strain response and to enhance the ability to predict failure conditions more accurately in the future. Possible unstable response along the stress paths analysed was investigated by means of second order work and strain acceleration. The results show that temporary unstable conditions may be encountered for this soil at stress ratios below ultimate failure and even below critical state line, depending on void ratio, drainage conditions and time dependent compressibility. A modified state parameter is explored as a potentially useful tool to discriminate conditions leading to eventual collapse.


Casini, Francesca and Jommi, C. and Springman, Sarah M.

Index Terms:

SoilGroup; undisturbed samples; silty soils; landslides; slope analysis; laboratory test; Casini, Francesca; Jommi, C.; Springman, Sarah M.

Further Information:

Date published: 2010