Coupling a 1D Dual-permeability Model with an Infinite Slope Stability Approach to Quantify the Influence of Preferential Flow on Slope Stability

Wei Shao, Thom Bogaard, Ye Su, Mark Bakker

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In this study, a 1D hydro-mechanical model was developed by coupling a dual-permeability model with an infinite slope stability approach to investigate the influence of preferential flow on pressure propagation and slope stability. The dual-permeability model used two modified Darcy-Richards equations to simultaneously simulate the matrix flow and preferential flow in a slope. The simulated pressure head was sequentially coupled with the soil mechanics model. The newly-developed numerical model was codified with the Python programming language, and benchmarked against the HYDRUS-1D software. The benchmark example showed that the proposed model is able to simulate the non-equilibrium phenomenon in a heterogeneous soil. We further implemented the model to conduct a synthetic experiment designing a slope with heterogeneous soil overlying an impermeable bedrock as a combined analysis of hydrology and slope stability, the results shows that the occurrence of preferential flow can reducing the time and rainfall amount required for slope failure. The proposed model provides a relatively simple and straightforward way to quantify the effect of preferential flow on the pressure propagation and landslide-triggering in heterogeneous hillslope.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)128-136
JournalProcedia: Earth and Planetary Science
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event4th Italian Workshop on Landslides - Napels, Italy
Duration: 23 Nov 201525 Nov 2015
Conference number: 4


  • preferential flow
  • dual-permeability model
  • infinit slope stability approach
  • pressure propagation

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