Effects of heterogeneity distribution on hillslope stability during rainfalls
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Dept Hydrol & Water Resources
Saturated hydraulic conductivity
MetadataShow full item record
CitationEffects of heterogeneity distribution on hillslope stability during rainfalls 2016, 9 (2):134 Water Science and Engineering
JournalWater Science and Engineering
RightsThis is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
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AbstractThe objective of this study was to investigate the spatial relationship between the most likely distribution of saturated hydraulic conductivity (K-s) and the observed pressure head (P) distribution within a hillslope. The cross-correlation analysis method was used to investigate the effects of the variance of lnK(s), spatial structure anisotropy of lnK(s), and vertical infiltration flux (q) on P at some selected locations within the hillslope. The cross-correlation analysis shows that, in the unsaturated region with a uniform flux boundary, the dominant correlation between P and Ks is negative and mainly occurs around the observation location of P. A relatively high P value is located in a relatively low Ks zone, while a relatively low P value is located in a relatively high Ks zone. Generally speaking, P is positively correlated with q/Ks at the same location in the unsaturated region. In the saturated region, the spatial distribution of K-s can significantly affect the position and shape of the phreatic surface. We therefore conclude that heterogeneity can cause some parts of the hillslope to be sensitive to external hydraulic stimuli (e.g., rainfall and reservoir level change), and other parts of the hillslope to be insensitive. This is crucial to explaining why slopes with similar geometries would show different responses to the same hydraulic stimuli, which is significant to hillslope stability analysis. (C) 2016 Hohai University. Production and hosting by Elsevier B.V.
NoteOpen Access Journal.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsChina Scholarship Council ; National Natural Science Foundation of China ; Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program [ER-1365]; Environmental Security and Technology Certification Program [ER201212]; National Science Foundation-Division of Earth Sciences