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Title: Seismically induced landslides, Calabria, southern Italy
Author: Murphy, William
Awarding Body: University of London
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 1992
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Calabria consists of a series of Hercynian and Alpine metamorphic rocks overlain by younger sediments. Ancient landslides are widespread but their precise origin are uncertain. The susceptibility to failure of weathered rocks in the area was investigated by analysis of ground models involving geology, topography, weathering, remote sensing and laboratory studies. In addition, data collected in the field and the laboratory have allowed the geotechnical character of lithologies subject to failure during the 1908 Messina Straits earthquake (M = 7.1) to be examined. Analysis of slope stability by the infinite slope model reveals areas prone to instability under static conditions. Remote sensing was used to verify the model. Investigation of historical earthquake epicentres and satellite imagery has identified seismic centres in the Messina Straits and the Gioia-Tauro basin and shows that the former is a site of maximum seismic hazard. Estimates of ground motion for a specific design earthquake were calculated and applied to the ground model to assess slope deformation during seismic loading in the Villa San Giovanni area. Comparisons are drawn with slope failures which occurred during the Messina Straits earthquake and other landslide-causing events to evaluate the use of digital terrain models in seismic risk assessment. Analysis of the three dimensional ground model indicates that weathered regolith in Calabria is prone to slope failure. Seismically-triggered landsliding often involves detachment along zones of drainage impedance where excess pore pressures may occur during earthquakes. In addition topographic amplification leads to high stresses generated at ridge lines leading to failure.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available