Risks of landslides and rock mechanics and Analysis of slope stability
Module Risks of landslides and rock mechanics

Academic Year 2022/2023 - Teacher: Giovanna PAPPALARDO

Expected Learning Outcomes

The course aims to make people acquire and know:

1. the guidelines (UNESCO) for assessing the hazard and risk of landslides;

2. the classification of landslides according to international guidelines;

3. the predisposing and triggering causes of landslides;

4. the principle of rock mechanics and differences in the study of earth geotechnics;

5. the geomechanical characterization and classification of rock masses;

6. the geomechanical survey through in situ measurements;

7. the ability to process geomechanical survey data through the use of software;

8. remediation and monitoring interventions on slopes

Course Structure

Traditional frontal teaching and practical test outside to carry out the geomechanical survey, with the support of multimedia material (slides projected during the lessons) and handouts. Mandatory attendance.. The teacher will explain to the students the procedures for calculating some topics of the program.

If the teaching is given in a mixed or remote mode, the necessary changes with respect to what was previously stated may be introduced, in order to respect the program envisaged and reported in the syllabus.

Required Prerequisites

Knowledge of applied geology, geomorphology, structural geology and rock recognition.

Attendance of Lessons

Attendance to lessons is compulsory. For working students, reference is made to the University teaching regulations.

Information for students with disabilities and / or SLD:

To guarantee equal opportunities and in compliance with the laws in force, interested students can ask for a personal interview with the teacher in order to plan any compensatory and / or dispensatory measures, according to the didactic objectives and specific needs. It is also possible to contact the referent teacher CInAP (Center for Active and Participated Integration - Services for Disabilities and / or SLD) of our Department

Detailed Course Content

Rock mechanics: Introduction to rock mechanics and main fields of application. Notes on the genesis of stone rocks and related fragile behavior. Definition of intact rock, discontinuity and rock mass. Continuous and discontinuous medium, scale effect. Geomechanical survey of rock masses according to ISRM, data acquisition and processing. Stereographic projections. Geomechanical classifications of rock masses. Kinematic analysis according to the models of Hoek and Bray 1981. Procedure for writing the report of the practical test.

Landslides Risks: The hydrogeological risk in Italy and legislation. Definition of landslide risk and methods for assessment. Classification of landslides I.A.E.G. 1990. Types of landslides according to Varnes 1978. Classification according to Cruden and Varnes, 1996. Definition of the shape and extent of the landslides. Predisposing and triggering causes. Trigger effects of earthquakes: landslides and liquefaction. Risk mitigation. Main types of monitoring in landslide areas. Stabilization interventions of landslide areas. Hydraulic-forestry interventions.

Textbook Information

  1. Rock slope engineering civil and mining 4th edition, Duncan C.W. and Mah C.W., Spon Press Taylor & Francis Group
  2. Cruden D.M. & Varnes D.J., Landslides Types and Processes. In: Turner A.K. &. Schuster R.L. (Eds.) Landslides: Investigation and Mitigation. Transportation Research Board Special Report 247. National Academy Press, WA, 36-75.
  3. Meccanica delle rocce, Alberto Bruschi, Dario Flaccovio Editore.
  4. Fenomeni franosi, Maurizio Tanzini, Dario Flaccovio Editore.
  5. Caratterizzazione geomeccanica per la progettazione ingegneristica, Bruno Giovanni, Dario Flaccovio Editore.
  6.  Elementi di meccanica e ingegneria delle rocce, Marco Barla, CELID.
  7. Meccanica delle rocce. Teoria e applicazioni all'ingegneria. Renato Ribacchi. Edizioni Efesto.
  8. RIG_1993_2_151
  9. Relazione generale del PAI Sicilia: http://www.sitr.regione.sicilia.it/pai/CD_PAI/UNITA_09/09_PDF/Testi/RELAZIONE%20GENERALE %20P.A.I..pdf
  10. Atlante delle opere di sistemazione dei versante: http://www.isprambiente.gov.it/contentfiles/00003400/3486-atlante-versanti-2edizione.pdf/. 
  11. Atlante delle opere di sistemazione fluviale: http://www.isprambiente.gov.it/contentfiles/00003400/3494-atlante-delle-opere-di-sistemazione-fluviale.pdf/
  12. Geologia Applicata all'ambiente. Canuti, Crescenti, Francani. Casa editrice Ambrosiana.

Course Planning

 SubjectsText References
1Rock mechanics1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
2Landslide risk2, 4, 9, 10, 11, 12

Learning Assessment

Learning Assessment Procedures

Creation of a report at the end of the course on the measurements made during the external geomechanical survey.

The final exam is oral.

Examples of frequently asked questions and / or exercises

  1. mechanics of earth and rocks
  2. geomechanical survey, how it is carried out and objective
  3. risk equation
  4. geomechanical classifications
  5. legislation on hydrogeological risk in Italy
  6. Varnes classification
  7. kinematic analysis
  8. triggering causes of landslides
  9. monitoring
  10. interventions