Laboratory rainfall-induced slope failure with moisture content measurement

Adrin Tohari, Makoto Nishigaki, Mitsuru Komatsu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

172 Citations (Scopus)


The development of a physically based warning system for rainfall-induced slope failures requires a comprehensive understanding of the failure process. A set of laboratory-scale soil slopes was subjected to instability, through three different modes of raising water level, to clarify the process of failure initiation. Hydrologic responses of the model slopes to the saturation process were recorded by volumetric soil moisture content sensors. The results of model tests show that failures of the model slopes were essentially initiated by the development of an unstable area near the slope toe, upon the formation of the seepage area, with shallow noncircular sliding being the dominant failure mode. The volumetric moisture content of the slope region where localized failures initiated was noted to reach a nearly saturated value. However, the major portion of soil slopes involved in overall instability was still in an unsaturated condition. Based on the observed moisture content response of the model slopes, a concept for prediction methodology of rainfall-induced slope failures is introduced.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)575-587
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2007


  • Laboratory tests
  • Landslides
  • Moisture content
  • Predictions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Environmental Science(all)


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