A Review of Conventional Techniques for Subsurface Characterization of Landslides


Naturally occurring landslides can be difficult to characterize and often exhibit anomalies in controlling geometry and consistency. The characterization of landslides in engineering geology practice is usually based on program of subsurface exploration; focused on identifying subsurface materials, structure and stratigraphy, hydrologic conditions, and appropriate strength parameters. On native slopes bereft of anthropogenic modification (excavation), geomorphic evidence of previous movement and its relative depth and scale are often discernible to the experienced eye. This paper seeks to describe the various techniques that have been successfully employed in site-specific subsurface investigations of prehistoric landslides. These include considerations of limiting geometry (for planning subsurface exploration and sampling), overcoming problems with site access, exploratory trenches, small diameter borings, downhole logging of large diameter borings, and geophysical techniques. These procedures can be combined to develop more realistic cross sections along the vector of maximum landslide movement, so the displaced mass can be realistically analyzed. The respective advantages and disadvantages of these techniques are discussed, with baseline references on subsurface exploration.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Drilling; Exploration Geophysics; Landslide Analysis, Landslide Geometry; Site Characterization; Site Exploration; Boring; Characterization; Drilling; Eye Movements; Geometry; Geophysics; Stratigraphy; Anthropogenic Modification; Conventional Techniques; Exploration Geophysics; Geophysical Techniques; Subsurface Characterizations; Subsurface Investigations; Landslides; Borehole Geophysics; Engineering Geology; Human Activity

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Article - Journal

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Publication Date

01 Feb 2017