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Introduction to Mass Wasting
A landslide is both a variety of landforms and a downslope movement of soil, fill and/or rock. Structural discrepancies in rock formations or just in material on a slope can cause falling, sliding and/or flowing of material. Landslides are classified by the nature of the slope-forming materials and the type of movement. Types of Landslides
Landslides commonly fall within one of four different kinds of landslides or as a complex slide.
Debris Slide: A debris slide moves along slip surfaces from internal disruption. The flow includes broken landslides combined without structure preservation. Earthflow: An earthflow consists of unconsolidated material slipping downslope like a viscous fluid. Slip surfaces are not present, and movement can contain different velocities in different areas. Heavy rainfall can cause an earthflow. Slump: Slumps preserve initial internal structure, and resemble a rotation. The layers of a slump seem to rotate down slip surfaces. Fall: Falls occur when rock fragments bounce and free-fall down a slope. These landslides are common along mountain roads where material was removed to form the road.
Figure 1: Types of landslides.
Complex: A complex landslide contains characteristics of multiple types of landslides. For example, a slide can start as a slump and then flow into an earthflow.
Notice the areas of slide that encompass two different types of slides: earthflow and slump. cleavage planes in rock minerals or foliations can cause instability. Water saturation from housing areas may disrupt the stability of the materials. Contributing factors to mass wasting events are summarized on the next page. -2- . Blasting a road through a mountain can cause rock falls. Unconformities in outcrops or fractures in bedrock are also factors that lead to sliding. And. Adding an artificial fill to an area increases weight. The movement can potentially create a landslide. Earthquakes always create some sense of movement in soils and rocks. Causes of Slides Many different factors can lead to a landslide. Roots can break rocks or loosen soils and cause sliding. A higher water composition in a soil or rock is more susceptible to sliding than a dry soil or rock. Unconsolidated soils also flow easily. anthropogenic causes can create sliding.EAS 2600 Lab 9 Introduction to Mass Wasting Figure 2: Complex landslide. The actual physical properties of the rock or soil may cause a slide. For example. Steeper slopes are more likely to be unstable than shallower slopes. allowing for easier sliding.
Slump or rock fall. Rockfall or debris flow Fractured sandstone.EAS 2600 Lab 9 Introduction to Mass Wasting i. make a shallower slope. i. iii. Earthflow Loose soil along a slope Excavate soil to the bedrock and secure poles within the bedrock. Seawall. steep slope. fix drainage to try to hold soil in place. i. ii. ii. breakwaters. Fractures in sandstone. or move the house. ii. -3- . iii. expandable clays. iii. perturbation of the ocean on the cliff. or put up a retaining wall/ fencing with brads to hold rocks back. steep cut-out slope Excavate more material at least on the left bank. Also.
sliding mass of regolith W = Fd where W = work (J).g. Work .e. F = force (N = 1 kg-m/sec2). d = distance of mass displacement (m) Units 1 J = 1 N-m = 1 kg-m2/sec2 ____________________________________________________________________________ 2. Forces acting on Slope Material Particle-on-Slope Equations: τ σ θ Wt = shear force parallel to slope (N) = normal force perpendicular to slope (N) = slope angle relative to horizontal plane (degrees) = weight of particle or mass of material (N) Wt = mg = weight of particle (N) σ = Wt (cos θ) = normal force (N) τ = Wt (sin θ) = shear force (N) 2 .displacement of mass when acted upon by force e.
Mass-on-Slope Equations: ** Note: here we assume that a mass of regolith overlies a potential failure plane. resulting in stresses. Thus. forces are applied per unit area. ** τ σ θ γ h = shear stress parallel to failure plane (N/m2) = normal stress perpendicular to failure plane (N/m2) = slope angle relative to horizontal plane (degrees) = specific weight of mass = Wt / volume (N/m3) = thickness of regolith above failure plane (m) Wt = mg = kg-m/sec2 = N γ = Wt / volume = N/m3 = specific weight σ = γh (cos2θ) = normal stress (N/m2) τ = γh (cos θ) (sin θ) = shear stress (N/m2) 3 . The failure plane is a surface in 3-d with area.
given their particular setting. Explain the most likely cause for these features. GA” in Google Earth.S. and landform evaluation. original work. You may work together but you must turn in your own.EAS 2600 Lab 9 Mass Wasting Spr 2014 Lab 9: Mass Wasting and Weathering Name Lab Section These activities were adapted from an exercise developed by Jordan Clayton (Department of Geosciences at Georgia State University) for his Geomorphology class in order to introduce them to the use of Google Earth to calculate distances. Note the close correspondence between the locations of large exfoliation sheets that have not yet slid down the mountainside and vegetation outcrops. Which 3 environmental factors appear to be most important in generating landslides? (6 pts) Open the Google Earth program on your computer.: http://landslides. 1. keeping your perspective on the mountain‟s exposed granite wall. Note that you will want to navigate to the mountain itself. and fly around its side. 2. a. slopes. List 3 specific locations that have a high susceptibility to landslides. (6 pts) b. On the northeast flank of the mountain near the summit there are a series of large weathering pits. Zoom in on the mountain. Go to the following webpage illustrating landslide occurrence and susceptibility in the continental U. tilt a bit so that you are looking at a side view. Use Google Earth and provide handouts to answer the following questions. (4 pts) 1 .gov/state_local/nationalmap/ a.usgs. which is just east of the town of Stone Mountain. What physical reason might be provided to explain this? (6 pts) b. Go to: “Stone Mountain.
What caused these? Where are they most abundant? (4 pts) d. Using the elevation feature given at the bottom screen and the “ruler” tool (from the „Tools‟ menu. Show all work (6 pts) f. Determine the volume of this rock slab in m3.13” W. (8 pts) 2 .EAS 2600 Lab 7 Mass Wasting c. Hint: Measure a vertical distance of between 20-50 feet for the rise below this rock slab and assume the “ruler” tool gives you the distance of the hypotenuse of a right triangle and that sine = opposite/hypotenuse. Show all work. Determine the normal and shear stresses exerted on this exfoliation slab using the mass on slope equations given to you in your lecture notes. determine the slope angle (in degrees) for the hillslope.22” N. make sure that units are set for feet). The density of Stone Mountain granite is around 2. 84º 08‟ 50. Assume that the thickness of this slab is 0. Find the triangular exfoliation slab located at the coordinates 33º 48‟ 27.7 grams/cm3 but for this exercise you may assume a density of 3. Note the numerous black streaks down the side of the mountain.3 m and that the slab is triangular. (8 pts) e. Show all work.0 grams/cm3.
into Madison River Canyon. mountain lake. what was the effective angle of repose? Show your rationale and or calculations. determine the slope angle (in degrees) for the post-slide deposit. which is another exposed granitic pluton. In 1959. Go to: “Earthquake Lake. Show all work. Assuming that the earthquake shook apart all of the jointed rock shown on the pre-slide surface figure. Navigate to “Half Dome. a large earthquake resulted in a massive landslide. as the northwest flank of the dome has been eroded away resulting in the shear cliff face seen from Yosemite Valley. CA”. Zoom in on the deposits. a.EAS 2600 Lab 7 Mass Wasting 3. and you will want to zoom in on the lake‟s downstream end (look to the West). The landslide deposits dammed the river and created the lake. This was the source region for the landslide. Use the elevation feature given at the bottom and the “ruler” tool (from the „Tools‟ menu). (8 pts) c. (8 pts) b. Note that you should focus on the southeast flank (back side) of the mountain. The program will take you to a narrow. How does this angle compare with the pre-slide surface angle? (8 pts) 3 . MT” in Google Earth. as compared with Stone Mountain? More or less streaking? What do these differences this suggest about the rock masses and/or earth surface environment at these two locations? Briefly explain. and rotate to view the slope on the southern side of the valley. Check out some quick information about this event by clicking on the information dots located in the deposit at the lake‟s downstream end. tilt for a partial side-view. Are there more or less exfoliation sheets remaining on the southeast flank of Half Dome. Use the figure of the pre-slide failure surface given to you in lab to calculate the slope angle of this slide area prior to the 1959 earthquake. called the Madison Slide. (6) 4. and the scarp is still clearly visible.
Go to the coordinates 48o 16'59" N. A Google Earth KMZ file of the slide area is included in your lab resources folder. 121o 50'49" W. Use the clock feature in Google Earth to observe the changes in this area since 1989. This landslide occurred on March 22. Compare this angle with the angle of repose for unconsolidated sediments. Show all work. (4 points) 4 . c. and find the site of the Stillaguamish Landslide near Oso. WA. What physical processes may have allowed your calculated values to be greater or less than this value? Answer for both the pre-slide hillslope and the post-slide deposit. a. (6 pts) 5. Hint: look at elevation points. 2014 and currently 21 people are known to be killed and 22 people are still missing. What are the major changes that you see? (4 points) b. A previous landslide occurred in this same area in 2006 and the Stillaguamish river has been cutting into the toe of the previous landslide which probably contributed to the severity of the current landslide. This area is underlain by extensive unconsolidated glacial deposits left behind by the last ice age. Compare both with a typical angle of repose of around 35 degrees for unconsolidated sediment.EAS 2600 Lab 7 Mass Wasting d. What does the fact that the debris field completely blocked the river tell you about the landslide? (4 points). Determine the angle of the slope before the landslide using the historical elevations (using Google Earth).
(4 points) 5 . What factors contributed to this slope failure? Use the resources provided for you in lab or feel free to do an internet search.EAS 2600 Lab 7 Mass Wasting d.
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