information and updates about Engineering Geology

La grande frana di Maierato (VV)

Sat, 26/01/2013 -- engeology

A large landslide formed at Maierato (Vibo Valencia District), Southern Italy, on February 15, 2010, at 14:30local time, when rapid failure occurred after several days of preliminary movements. The landslide has an area of 0.3 km2, a runout distance of 1.2 km and an estimated volume of about 10 Mm3. The landslide caused nearly 2,300 inhabitants to be evacuated with high economic losses. The most probable trigger of the landslide was the cumulative precipitation over the preceding 20 days (having a return period of more than 100 years), which followed a long period of 4-5 months of heavy rainfall (of about 150% of the average rainfall of the period). This report presents a summary of our findings pertinent to the landslide’s activities based on our field investigations. In particular, this report covers: (1) details of land deformation caused by the landslide, (2) geology pertinent to landslide development, (3) identification of the landslide mechanism and its triggering factors based on the analysis of the boring core specimens and landform features, as well as the available video of the event, and (4) preliminary evaluation of stability of the original slope before the landslide using the finite-element-based shear strength reduction method. The aim of the paper is to describe the landslide and explain its mechanism of occurrence.


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