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Monitoring field experiment in an unsaturated sandy soil slope in Switzerland


The monitoring of saturation and desaturation processes is a critical issue for the assessment of potential landslides. In this study, results from the first year of a monitoring experiment on a 15 by 13 metre square test site in the vicinity of previous landslides are presented. A top layer of clayey sand overlies weathered sandstone just above the rock surface and this layering system allows rapid infiltration. Preceding geophysical investigations helped to optimize the configuration of the test site. Meteorological data (e.g. rainfall, temperature and air pressure), infiltration and outflow, suction and volumetric water content at different depths up to 1.5 m have been measured continuously using among others tensiometers, Time Domain Reflectometers and MoisturePoint devices. Interaction has been observed between suction and volumetric water content and between rainfall intensity and the reaction at different soil depths. Seasonal hydrological changes can also be presented in terms of the response characteristics of the soil to rainfall events.


Thielen, Andrea and Springman, Sarah M.

Index Terms:

Soil; field experiment; unsaturated soil; slope; SoilGroup; Springman, Sarah M.; Thielen, Andrea

Further Information:

Date published: 2006