Rock mechanics and structural controls on hillslope processes (co-organized)
|Convener: Federico Agliardi | Co-Convener: Giovanni Crosta|
The strength, deformability and hydraulic properties of both intact rocks and rock masses are major constraints on the onset and development of rock slope deformation and failure processes. These occur at different scales, from single block instability to mountain range scale gravitational collapse, and affect topographic relief production, paraglacial slope adjustment, erosion rates, slope-river coupling, as well as landslide hazard, risk and the engineering performance of man-made structures.
Although physical and mechanical properties of rock are known to be linked to a variety of geological features at different scales, including rock micro- and meso-fabric, anisotropy, joints, faults and folds, for decades their characterisation and links with hillslope processes have been dealt with separately in the fields of engineering rock mechanics, structural geology and geomorphology. Nevertheless, it is now clear that a multidisciplinary approach is required to achieve a deeper understanding of processes leading to the build-up and destruction of mountain slopes, especially when large rock slopes in complex geological settings are considered.
In this session we would like to bring together contributions aimed at clarifying the controls of rock composition, fabric, geological structure s.l. and weathering/alteration on the mechanical behaviour of rock masses and the mechanisms of slope instability, through quantitative approaches including site characterisation, geophysical methods, laboratory studies, and mathematical/numerical modelling.