Geologic Characterization, Hydrologic Monitoring, and Soil-Water Relationships for Landslides in Kentucky

Matt Crawford, Lindsey Bryson, Zhenming Wang, Edward W. Woolery
Complex spatial and temporal variables control the movement of water through colluvial soils in hillslopes. Some of the factors that influence soil-moisture fluctuation are soil type, thickness, porosity and permeability, and slope morphology. Landslide-characterization and field-monitoring techniques were part of a method to connect hydrologic and geotechnical data in order to monitor long-term hydrologic conditions in three active landslides in Kentucky, establish hydrologic relationships
more » ... ss the slope, and analyze specific soil-water relationships that can predict shear strength. Volumetric water content, water potential, and electrical conductivity were measured between October 2015 and February 2019. The duration and magnitude of drying and wetting within the soil varied for each slope location and soil depth, suggesting that differences in slope morphology, soil texture, and porosity influence the water-infiltration process, as well as shear strength and general landslide dynamics. The parameters measured and soil-water relationships were also compared to rainfall and slope movement at one of the landslides. The method used to acquire hydrologic data was cost-effective, and the field techniques may be useful for subsequent projects, such as slope-stability assessments and landslide-susceptibility modeling. Hydrologic parameters, volumetric water content, and water potential are pertinent to investigating the stability of landslides, which are often triggered or reactivated by rainfall. These methods can be used to support landslide-hazard assessment and improve our understanding of the long-term influence of moisture conditions in hillslope soils.
doi:10.13023/kgs.ri11.13 fatcat:ssxgqlg3szhcdjhsabththmbtm