The Aso-Bridge coseismic landslide: a numerical investigation of failure and runout behavior using finite and discrete element methods

B. Leshchinsky, C. Hung, C. Liu, G. Lin
Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment
Discrete Element Analysis, Finite element analysis, Initiation time, Landslides, Vertical seismic acceleration

The complex coseismic process of the Aso-Bridge landslide during the main shock of the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquake was investigated. Finite element analysis and discrete element analysis considering vertical seismic accelerations (VSA) were conducted to explore the salient features of the prefailure mechanism and postfailure kinematic process of the coseismic landslide associated with the initiation time and kinematic runout behavior, respectively. Two seismic input conditions, one involving only horizontal seismic accelerations (HSA), and the other accounting for both HSA and VSA, were used to assess the influence of VSA from the prefailure to postfailure regimes. First, satisfactory agreement between the study and the published results in terms of landslide initiation time was obtained. As revealed by the rapid change of source displacement (RCSD), VSA did not alter landslide initiation time; however, it significantly increased the RCSD approximately 2-fold, which provided a clear initiation time. At landslide initiation, the estimated average velocities in a vertical direction increased approximately 16-fold (from −0.011 to −0.174 m/s) by accounting for VSA. Second, the results suggested that VSA had a trivial influence on runout behavior in the postfailure regime, given that such behavior was dominated by the collision and free fall during the sliding as well as the terrain features. With an average velocity of 21.34 m/s, the sliding source ultimately reached the riverbank within 21 s. The paper demonstrates that a combination of FEA and DEA can be used to investigate the coseismic process of the Aso-Bridge landslide and lead to satisfactory agreement with the event. Our comprehensive analysis provides insight into the role of VSA in earthquake-induced landslides.

Keywords: Landslides, Finite element analysis, Discrete element analysis, Vertical seismic acceleration, Initiation time 

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