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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 11, issue 6 | Copyright

Special issue: Documentation and monitoring of landslides and debris flows

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 11, 1609-1618, 2011
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-11-1609-2011
© Author(s) 2011. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  06 Jun 2011

06 Jun 2011

Kinematics of a mass movement constrained by sparse and inhomogeneous data

M. Karbon1, E. Brückl1, E. Hegedüs2, and A. Preh3 M. Karbon et al.
  • 1Institute of Geodesy and Geophysics, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria
  • 2Eötvös Loránd Geophysical Institute, Budapest, Hungary
  • 3Institute of Geotechnics, Vienna University of Technology, Vienna, Austria

Abstract. On 12 February 2008, a landslide occurred along a 50 m high bank of the Danube river near Dunaszekcsö, Hungary. The initial state is only incompletely documented and the geodetic data acquired after the mass movement are sparse. A generalized 3-D topographic model of the landslide and its surrounding area was assembled and a representative longitudinal profile extracted. The reconstruction of the original surface is based on an orthophoto as well as on morphological considerations. Recorded observations include the locations of the outcrops of basal sliding surfaces, displacements at the main scarp and in the lower part of the slide, and a value to describe the total mass transport. Such sparse and inhomogeneous data were insufficient to derive a comprehensive documentation of the landslide or obtain adequate constraints for an accurate numerical analysis. Therefore, slider block models were fitted to the field data, which have only a small number of free parameters. A general view on the morphology of the mass movement justifies its classification as a rotational slide. A double slider block model fits all observational parameters within their error margin and supplies valuable information on the geometry of the slide. Estimates of the residual friction angles were derived and the question of reactivation was addressed. Finite Difference (FD) modelling and the application of conventional stability analysis support the geometry of the slider blocks and the computed average residual friction angles. Generally, the results are assumed to represent preliminary information, which could only be attained by the combination of the thinly distributed geodetic data with qualitative morphological observations and the implementation of a model. This type of information can be gained quickly and may be valuable for preliminary hazard mitigation measures or the planning of a comprehensive exploration and monitoring program.

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