Forecasting Landslides via Three-Dimensional Discrete Element Modeling: Helong Landslide Case Study
Forecasting the occurrence potential of landslides is important but challenging. We aimed to forecast the failure potential of the Helong landslide, which is temporarily stable but has clearly deformed in recent years. To achieve the goal, we used reconnaissance, remote sensing, drilling, laboratory tests, topographical analysis, and electrical resistivity tomography (ERT). The factor of safety (FOS) of the slope was first calculated using a limit equilibrium method. The results show the FOS of the slope was 1.856 under natural conditions, 1.506 under the earthquake conditions, 1.318 under light rainfall, 0.986 under heavy rainfall, 1.075 under light rainfall and earthquake, and 0.832 under simultaneous heavy rainfall and earthquake. When the FOS is less than 1.35, the slope is considered metastable according to the Technical Code for Building Slope Engineering (GB50330-2013) published by the Chinese Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development. Based on the drilling data and digital elevation data, a three-dimensional discrete element method (DEM) model was used to simulate potential landslides. The simulation was used to examine catastrophic slope failure under heavy rainfall conditions within a range of friction coefficients and the corresponding affected areas were determined. Then, we analyzed a typical run-out process. The dynamic information of the run-out behavior, including velocity, run-out distance, and depth, were obtained, which is useful for decision support and future landslide hazard assessment.
Keywords: landslide, discrete element method, stability analysis, failure potential forecasting