Lookup NU author(s): Rose Hen-Jones,
Professor Jonathon Chambers,
Professor Stephanie Glendinning,
Dr Ross Stirling
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Current assessments of slope stability rely on the use of point sensors, the results of which are often difficult to interpret, have relatively high associated installation and maintenance costs, and do not provide large-area coverage. A new system is currently under development, based on the use of integrated geophysical - geotechnical sensors to monitor ground water conditions via electrical resistivity tomography. This study presents the results of an in-situ electrical resistivity tomography survey, gathered over a two year investigation period at a full-scale clay test embankment in Northumberland, UK. The 3D resistivity array comprised 288 electrodes, at 0.7m grid spacing, covering an area of approximately 90 m2. The first year of investigation involved baseline data collection, followed by a second year which saw a series of deliberate interventions targeted at weakening the slope, to determine whether corresponding geotechnical property changes would be reflected in resistivity images derived from ERT. These interventions included the manual extension of four tension cracks already present in the slope, and the installation of a sprinkler system, eight months later. Laboratory methods were employed to derive a system of equations for relating resistivity to geotechnical parameters more directly relevant to slope stability, including moisture content, suction and shear strength. These equations were then applied to resistivity data gathered over the baseline and intervention periods, yielding geotechnical images of the subsurface which compared well with in-situ geotechnical point sensors. During the intervention period, no slope movement was recorded, however, tensiometers at 0.5 m and 1.0 m depths showed elevated pore pressures, with positive pressures being recorded at depths less than 0.5 m. Resistivity images were successful in capturing the extension of the tension cracks, and in identifying the development of a potential shear failure plane as water infiltrated these cracks over the course of one year.
Author(s): Hen-Jones R, Chambers J, Gunn D, Hughes PN, Glendinning S, Stirling RA
Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)
Publication status: Published
Conference Name: American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting
Year of Conference: 2015
Online publication date: 14/12/2015
Acceptance date: 04/11/2015