Thermo-hydro-mechanical analysis for the simulation of rapid sliding process in a new and fast ring shear prototype
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Vajont was a case of an extremely fast landslide and efforts to clarify the failure have been mainly concentrated in providing a consistent explanation taking into account this characteristic feature. Particularly in the case of Vajont landslide, attention has been essentially focused on the shearing properties of the sliding surface. An accepted explanation for the velocity reached is the thermo-hydraulic-mechanical coupling under saturated conditions, which induces thermal dilation and effective stress reduction due to pore pressure build-up. Nevertheless, lack of in situ and experimental information has become one of the main drawbacks when trying to explain these coupled processes. In situ information is difficult to obtain since temperature and pore pressure development during these fast processes are impossible of being measured. To overcome this limitation, a new fast sliding prototype -emulating a ring shear apparatus- has been recently developed at the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (Spain). This prototype can reach relatively high speeds along the sliding surface (up to 30 km/h) under relatively high total vertical stresses (up to 3 MPa). Temperature and pore pressure changes can be locally measured with miniature transducers located close to the shear band. The design of this complex prototype requires the use of simulation-aided techniques, to help with the interpretation of the coupled processes, as well as to estimate the maximum temperature and pore pressure changes. A thermo-hydro-mechanical formulation, applied to the ring shear test, is proposed in the paper to study pore water pressure build up and dissipation in a sliding surface being heated by the frictional work induced by the motion. Particularly, the proposed model is applied to simulate the evolution of the shear strength along the sliding surface during a fast sliding process.
CitationSerri, V. [et al.]. Thermo-hydro-mechanical analysis for the simulation of rapid sliding process in a new and fast ring shear prototype. A: International Conference on Vajont - 1963-2013. "International Conference on Vajont - 1963-2013. Thoughts and analyses after 50 years since the catastrophic landslide". Padua: 2013, p. 193-199.