Landslide Scarp Assessments by Means of an Ellipse-Referenced Idealized Curved Surface

Chi Jyun Ko, Chih Ling Wang, Hock Kiet Wong, Wen Chi Lai, Chih Yu Kuo, Yih Chin Tai

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The importance of scenario investigation in landslide-related hazard mitigation planning has long been recognized, where numerical simulation with physics-based models plays a crucial role because of its quantitative information. However, a plausible failure surface is a prerequisite in conducting the numerical simulation, but it often has a high degree of uncertainty due to the complex geological structure. The present study is devoted to proposing a methodology to mimic the plausible landslide failure surface (with some uncertainty) for investigating the consequent flow paths when failure takes place. Instead of a spherical shape, an idealized curved surface (ICS) is used, where two constant curvatures are, respectively, assigned in the down-slope and cross-slope directions. A reference ellipse is introduced for constructing the associated ICS with a specified failure depth regarding these two curvatures. Through translating, rotating, or side-tilting the reference ellipse, the most appropriate ICS is figured out with respect to the assigned constraints (failure area, volume of released mass, depth of sliding interface, etc.). The feasibility and practicability of this ellipse–ICS method are examined by application to a historical landslide event and one landslide-prone area. In application to the historical event, the fitness versus the landslide scarp area and its impacts on the consequent flow paths are investigated. For the landslide-prone area, five scenarios are arranged based on the surface features and the records of gaging wells. The most plausible failure scenario is therefore suggested as the prerequisite for mimicking the consequential flow paths.

Original languageEnglish
Article number733413
JournalFrontiers in Earth Science
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Sept 30

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)


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