AbstractA method of practical interest is presented in this study for predicting shallow landslide triggering due to expected rainfall scenarios. The proposed approach is based on some closed-form expressions derived using physically-based models and requires a limited number of material parameters obtained from conventional tests. Two typical triggering mechanisms are considered: in the first case, a landslide is caused by a reduction in suction due to rain infiltration in unsaturated soils; in the second one, a slope failure occurs due to the formation of a water table with consequent generation of positive pore water pressures within the slope. A simple criterion is also provided to establish which triggering mechanism occurs. For each considered mechanism, a rainfall threshold curve is derived, which is formally similar to several empirical intensity-duration relationships proposed in the literature for predicting the occurrence of shallow landslides. However, unlike these empirical relationships, the present threshold curves explicitly depend on basic parameters such as slope geometry, soil properties, and pore water pressure existing at the depth of the potential slip surface before the rainfall. The proposed approach is also applied to well-documented case studies to assess its predictive capacity.

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