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Analysis and mitigation of landslide risk

Keywords: landslide, risk, slope stability, Alps, Northern Apennines
Fig. 1. San Leo (RN). 2014 landslide area (Photo L. Borgatti).
Fig. 2. Geological cross-section (modified from D’Effremo et al., 2016).

The deformed and displaced units which compose the fold and thrust belts of the Apennines and the Alps show a prominent predisposition to landslides. Research on large landslides from the recent past enables to better understand the geomorphological evolution of our territory and, in particular, to evaluate the hazard related to dormant phenomena prone to reactivation. Furthermore, landslides are often triggered or accelerated by human activities, such as tunnel excavation, that can induce extensive damages to the undercrossed structures and infrastructures. Analysis and extensive monitoring of tunneling-induced landslides are relevant topics of the research activity.

Our research methodology, taking advantage of modern technologies for data acquisition and representation, consists of the following stages: 1. detailed geological and geomorphological survey, to reconstruct stratigraphy and structure of the landslide sites; 2. archive research, to find any historical evidence of sliding events. 3. prehistorical landslides dating, by means of physical and incremental methods; 4. reconstruction of the slope geometry, also with reference to pre-landslide conditions, with photogrammetric and laser scanning techniques; 5. construction of longitudinal and transversal sets of geological cross-sections; 6. cross-section calibration by means of subsurface data; 7. 3D reconstruction of the sliding surfaces, by interpolation of altitude data drawn from outcrops and cross sections; 8. cross-section restoring and possible re-construction of the pre-sliding slopes, taking into account any available historical evidence; 9. geotechnical modelling and slope stability assessment by back-analysis, also using probabilistic methods; 10. development of Bayesian analysis techniques as means of probabilistic calibration of models and statistical update of data; 11. monitoring of active movements by means of topographic, inclinometric and piezometric readings, also in real-time; 12. numerical modelling aimed at the design of structural mitigation countermeasures; 13. overall description of landslide evolution, from the precursors to the main event and the subsequent reactivations, including those expected for the next future; 14. analysis of the relationships between landslide occurrence and environmental factors at the Holocene temporal scale, with particular reference to climate and human interventions, also in archaeological contexts (Fig. 1).

Main publications

Borgatti, L. and Soldati, M., Landslides as a geomorphological proxy for climate change: A record from the Dolomites (northern Italy). Geo-morphology, 120, 2010, pp.56 - 64.

Borgatti, L., Guerra, C., Nesci, O., Romeo, R.W., Veneri, F., Landuzzi, A., Benedetti, G., Marchi, G. and Lucente, C.C., The 27 February 2014 San Leo landslide (northern Italy), Landslides, 12, No.2, 2015, pp. 387-394.

Borgatti, L., Corsini, A., Barbieri, M., Sartini, G., Truffelli, G., Caputo, G. and Puglisi C., Large reactivated landslides in weak rock masses: a case study from the Northern Apennines (Italy), Landslides, 3, 2006, pp. 115-124.

Bossi, G., Borgatti, L., Gottardi, G. and Marcato, G., The Boolean Stochastic Generation method - BoSG: A tool for the analysis of the error associated with the simplification of the stratigraphy in geotechnical models. Engineering Geology, 203, 2016, pp. 99-106.

Cervi, F., Berti, M., Borgatti, L., Ronchetti, F., Manenti, F. and Corsini A., Comparing predictive capability of statistic and deterministic methods for landslide susceptibility mapping: a case study in the Northern Apennines (Reggio Emilia Province, Italy). Landslides, 7, 2010, pp. 433-444.

D’Effremo, M.E., Desideri, A., García Martínez, M.F., Gottardi, G., Ricceri, G., Selleri, A., Simonini, P. and Torsello, P., Analysis and monitoring of a tunnelling-induced deep landslide reactivation, Proc. of the 12th Int. Symp. on Landslides, 12-19 June 2016, Naples (Italy), pp. 735-742.

Gottardi, G. and Butterfield, R., Modelling ten years of downhill creep data. Proceedings of the XV ICSMGE, 1, Istanbul, Turchia, 2001, pp. 99- 102.

Gottardi, G., Marchi, G., Landuzzi, A., Benedetti and G., Sui complessi fenomeni di instabilità presso le Gole di Scascoli (Appennino Settentrionale, Bologna). Proceedings of the X Int. Conf. Interpraevent 2004, Vol. 2, Riva del Garda, Italia, V/25-V/36.

Marcato, G., Bossi, G., Rivelli, F., Borgatti, L., Debris flood hazard documentation and mitigation on the Tilcara alluvial fan (Quebrada de Humahuaca, Jujuy province, North-West Argentina), Natural Hazards and Earth System Science, 12, No.6, 2012, pp. 1873-1882.

Marcato, G., Mantovani, M., Pasuto, A., Zabuski, L. and Borgatti L., Monitoring, numerical modelling and hazard mitigation of the Moscardo landslide (Eastern Italian Alps). Engineering Geology, 128, 2012, pp. 95-107.

Ranalli, M., Gottardi, G., Medina-Cetina, Z. and Nadim, F., Uncertainty quantification in the calibration of a dynamic viscoplastic model of slow slope movements. Landslides, 7, 2010, pp. 31-41.

Ranalli, M., Medina-Cetina, Z., Gottardi, G. and Nadim, F., Probabilistic Calibration of a Dynamic Model for Predicting Rainfall Controlled Landslides, J. Geotech. Geoenviron. Eng., 2013, 10.1061/(ASCE)GT.1943-5606.0000972.

Schädler, W., Borgatti, L., Corsini, A., Meier, J., Ronchetti, F. and Schanz, T., Geomechanical assessment of the Corvara earthflow through numerical modelling and inverse analysis. Landslides, 12(3), 2015, pp. 495-510.

Spreafico, M.C., Francioni, M., Cervi, F., Stead, D., Bitelli, G., Ghirotti, M., Girelli, V.A., Lucente, C.C., Tini, M.A. and Borgatti, L., Back Analysis of the 2014 San Leo Landslide Using Combined Terrestrial Laser Scanning and 3D Distinct Element Modelling, Rock Mechanics and Rock Engineering, 49, No. 6, 2016, pp. 2235-2251.

Spreafico, M.C., Perotti, L., Cervi, F., Bacenetti, M., Bitelli, G., Girelli, V.A., Mandanici, M., Tini, M.A. and Borgatti, L., Terrestrial Remote Sensing techniques to complement conventional geomechanical surveys for the assessment of landslide hazard: The San Leo case study (Italy). European Journal Of Remote Sensing, 48, 2015, pp. 639- 660.