Landslide susceptibility assessment in pyroclastic soils: numerical analysis on the rose of capillary barriers




Pyroclastic soils, capillary barrier, numerical analysis, landslide susceptibility


Landslides in pyroclastic soils are among the most calamitous natural phenomena causing damage to people and territory every year. The mechanisms underpinning such landslides can be controlled by multiple factors, including site conditions and features of pyroclastic soils. Spatial variations of textural characteristics and related hydro-mechanical features in the overlain pyroclastic layers can yield to relevant effects on water infiltration, with potential formation of capillary barriers at the interface between different soil layers. A better knowledge of the key triggering factors, based on engineering-geological modeling, may be carried out through a detailed field and laboratory measurements, as well as performing numerical simulations. The area surrounding Palma Campania (Napoli, Italy) is largely affected by fast-moving landslides involving pyroclastic deposits. The volcanoclastic sequence is constituted upward by (white and grey) vesicular pumices and (black) dense scoriae levels, associated with the Somma-Vesuvius “Pomici di Base” Plinian eruption (22 ka). Stratigraphic sections along the carbonate slopes of Vallone Lupici reveal failure surfaces along various pyroclastic contact layers (white/gray vesicular pumice and dark dense scoria layers). Representative samples were collected at different stratigraphic heights and analyzed to define structural and textural characteristics; the obtained data were used as input parameters to perform 2D numerical simulations to explore the propagation of hydraulic front under different conditions of water flow (flow rate) and textural features of rocks. The obtained results allow us to put constrains on capillary barriers development in function of soils characteristic and rain fall intensity.




How to Cite

Sepe, C., Calcaterra, D., Di Martire, D., Ramondini, M., Russo, G., Vitale, E., & Pappalardo, L. (2021). Landslide susceptibility assessment in pyroclastic soils: numerical analysis on the rose of capillary barriers. Italian Journal of Engineering Geology and Environment, 221–228.

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