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A Tool for Modeling Slope Instability Triggered by Piping

Authors: Paola Gattinoni, Vincenzo Francani


The paper deals with the analysis of triggering conditions and evolution processes of piping phenomena, in relation to both mechanical and hydraulic aspects. In particular, the aim of the study is to predict slope instabilities triggered by piping, analysing the conditions necessary for a flow failure to occur. Really, the mechanical effect involved in the loads redistribution around the pipe is coupled to the drainage process arising from higher permeability of the pipe. If after the pipe formation, the drainage goes prevented for pipe clogging, the porewater pressure increase can lead to the failure or even the liquefaction, with a subsequent flow slide. To simulate the piping evolution and to verify relevant stability conditions, a iterative coupled modelling approach has been pointed out. As example, the proposed tool has been applied to the Stava Valley disaster (July, 1985), demonstrating that piping might be one of triggering phenomena of the tailings dams collapse.

Keywords: Flow failure, liquefaction, modeling, piping, porewater pressure.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

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