31 Aug 2022
31 Aug 2022

Elucidating the role of soil hydraulic properties on the aspect-dependent landslide initiation

Yanglin Guo1,2 and Chao Ma1,2 Yanglin Guo and Chao Ma
  • 1School of Soil and Water Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing 100083, PR China
  • 2Jixian National Forest Ecosystem Observation and Research Station, CNERN, Beijing Forestry University,5 Beijing 100083, PR China

Abstract. Aspect-dependent landslide initiation is an interesting finding and previous studies merely address the role of plant roots on this observed connection between landslide probability and slope aspect. In this work, the aspect-dependent landslide initiation in catchment with same plant species and high vegetation coverage was examined by pore water pressure and hillslope hydrology behavior. Remote sensing interpretation using the high-resolution GeoEye-1 image and digitalized topography found that the landslides on south-facing slope have higher probability, larger basal area and shallower depth than those on north-facing slope. The lower limit of upslope contributing area and slope gradient condition for south-facing landslides is no less than north-facing landslides. The higher basal area of south-facing landslides over north-facing landslides may attribute to the high peak values and slow dissipation of pore water pressure. The absorbed and drained water flow in given time interval, together with the calculated water storage and leakage during the measured rainy season, sufficiently prove that the soil mass above the failure zone for the south-facing slopes are more prone to form pore-water pressure and result in slope failures. In comparison, the two stability fluctuation results from finite and infinite models imply that landslides on south-facing slopes may fail on condition of prolonged antecedent precipitation and intensive rainfall, while those on north-facing slopes may fail merely in response to intensive rainfall. The results of this work provide an insightful view on the aspect-dependent landslide initiation from both classical mechanics and the state of stress.

Yanglin Guo and Chao Ma

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • RC1: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-798', Anonymous Referee #1, 09 Oct 2022
    • AC1: 'Reply on RC1', Ma Chao, 16 Dec 2022
  • RC2: 'Comment on egusphere-2022-798', Tammo Steenhuis, 19 Nov 2022
    • AC2: 'Reply on RC2', Ma Chao, 16 Dec 2022

Yanglin Guo and Chao Ma

Yanglin Guo and Chao Ma


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Short summary
In a localized area with same vegetation, the overwhelming propensity shallow landslides on south-facing slope over north-facing slope couldn’t attribute to plant roots. We provided new evidences from the pore water pressure of failing mass, unsaturated hydraulic conductivity, water storage and drainage and the hillslope stability fluctuation to prove that the infinite slope model may be suitable for elucidating the aspect-dependent landslide distribution in the study area.