EGU General Assembly 2021
© Author(s) 2021. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Integration of ambient noise and ERT data to investigate the structure of the Yang Jia Gou rock avalanche deposits (Sichuan - China)

Paola Capone1, Vincenzo Del Gaudio1, Janusz Wasowski2, Wei Hu3, Nicola Venisti1, and Yan Li3
Paola Capone et al.
  • 1Dipartimento di Scienze della terra e Geoambientali, Università degli Studi di Bari "Aldo Moro" - Bari, Italy
  • 2Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche - Istituto di Ricerca per la Protezione Idrogeologica - Bari, Italy
  • 3State Key Laboratory of Geo-Hazard Prevention and Geo-Environmental Protection, Chengdu University of Technology, P.R. China

On 12 May 2008, the mountainous area of Longmenshan, which separates the Tibetan Plateau from the Sichuan Basin, was hit by the 8.0 Ms Wenchuan earthquake which triggered about 200,000 landslides, some of which caused river damming with the formation of temporary lakes. Failures of the landslide dams can induce severe flooding downstream, therefore, it is important to study their structure and mechanical properties in order to evaluate their stability conditions.

The present study investigates the landslide dam deposits of a rock avalanche triggered in Yang Jia Gou, in Sichuan Province, using single-station three component recordings of ambient noise, with the aim of obtaining information about thickness and mechanical properties of the deposits from their resonance properties. Three noise measurement campaigns and two ERT surveys were conducted to support data interpretation. The data were analyzed using the traditional Nakamura’s technique, HVNR, and the innovative technique HVIP, both based on the calculation of ratios between horizontal and vertical amplitude of ground motion. Both methods revealed the presence  of resonance peaks, a major one at lower frequency, and a minor one at higher frequencies, representative of the deposit layering. HVNR showed a considerable instability in terms of amplitude of H/V, likely because this technique analyzes the entire noise wave field recorded, so to be subject to a large variability related to a variable composition of the noise field. This problem does not affect the HVIP method, which is based on the analysis of the ellipticity of Rayleigh waves, isolated from the recording.

Rayleigh wave ellipticity curves were used as targets in the inversion phase to obtain the velocity profile of the site. The subsoil model was  constrained by the data derived from the resistivity profiles. The results revealed:  different velocity layers inside the deposit; lateral variations in thickness, in accordance with the higher frequency peak, and in mechanical properties, with an increase of stiffness, probably due to a major portion of rocky blocks; an increase in thickness of the entire deposit, probably because of the irregularities of the substrate.

Further investigations are in progress through other kinds of noise analysis exploiting the synchronization of simultaneous recordings. This can provide additional constraints (to be derived from the dispersion of group velocity of Rayleigh waves) and aid resolving interpretation ambiguities.

How to cite: Capone, P., Del Gaudio, V., Wasowski, J., Hu, W., Venisti, N., and Li, Y.: Integration of ambient noise and ERT data to investigate the structure of the Yang Jia Gou rock avalanche deposits (Sichuan - China), EGU General Assembly 2021, online, 19–30 Apr 2021, EGU21-4578,, 2021.


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