A Preliminary Study of the Seepage Hammer Effect and Its Impacts on the Stability of Layered Infinite Slope

Wei-Lin Lee, Yih Chin Tai, Chjeng-Lun Shieh, Chih Wei Lu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A rapid change in the pore water pressure of unsaturated soil due to a wetting front is a crucial factor and may result in instabilities in layered slopes. This study presents preliminary research on such a change, which we define as the seepage hammer effect. Vertical infiltration with multiple soil layers by column test was implemented to investigate the mechanism of the seepage hammer effect and distinguish it from the well-known Lisse effect and reverse Wieringermeer effect. A two-phase flow model was utilized to understand the evolutions of pore water/air pressure and volumetric water content, and its result evolved into a layered infinite slope stability analysis. Thus, the impacts of the seepage hammer effect on slope stability can be analyzed. This study found that the seepage hammer effect was triggered when the wetting front reached the interface of multiple layers and impermeable layers, and the rising speed of pore water pressure was proportional to the air venting capacity of soil. Slope stability analysis showed that the safety factor may decline suddenly because of the seepage hammer effect. Its relationship with the factor of safety and the sliding velocity is proportional. The detection of the seepage hammer effect could be a potential application of the study of fast-moving landslides.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1832
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2023 May

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Aquatic Science
  • Water Science and Technology


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