The influence of non-linear hydraulic behavior of slope soil covers on rainfall intensity-duration thresholds

R Greco, Thom Bogaard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review


One of the main limitations to the reliability of commonly adopted empirical rainfall thresholds for landslide hazard assessment is that they not include any information about the hydrological processes occurring along the slopes, so that the triggering is only related to rainfall characteristics. In order to introduce such an hydrological information in the definition of rainfall thresholds for shallow landslide triggering assessment, in this study the introduction of non-dimensional rainfall characteristics is proposed. In particular, rain storm depth, intensity and duration are divided by a characteristic infiltration depth, a characteristic infiltration rate and a characteristic duration, respectively. These latter variables depend on the hydraulic properties and on the moisture state of the soil cover at the beginning of the precipitation. The proposed variables are applied to the case of a slope covered with shallow pyroclastic deposits in Cervinara (southern Italy), for which experimental data of hourly rainfall and soil suction were available. Rainfall thresholds defined with the proposed non-dimensional variables perform significantly better than those defined with dimensional variables, either in the intensity-duration plane or in the depth-duration plane.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLandslides and Engineered Slopes
Subtitle of host publicationExperience, Theory and Practice: Proceedings of the 12th International Symposium on Landslides (Napoli, Italy, 12-19 June 2016)
EditorsStefano Aversa, Leonardo Cascini, Luciano Picarelli, Claudio Scavia
PublisherCRC Press
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-4987-8807-6
ISBN (Print)978-1-138-02988-0
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Event 12th International Symposium on Landslides - Napoli, Italy
Duration: 12 Jun 201619 Jun 2016


Conference 12th International Symposium on Landslides


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