Determination of the seismic signatures of landslides in soft soils: a methodology based on a field scale shear box

G. Yfantis, S. Pytharouli, R.J. Lunn, H.E.M. Carvajal

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We present a novel field experimental setup that can be used for studying the characteristics of landslide seismicity. The setup consists of a concrete, filled with soil, cylinder that moves along a surficial soil corridor. The emitted seismic signals are due to soil friction. The cylinder acts as an upscaled sheer-box allowing control over a number of parameters: the magnitude of normal stress on the failure plane, the degree of saturation and the type of soil. This allows for the simulation of soil friction within, or between, different geological layers under different conditions. Results are site specific, but can be easily reproduced for any geological environment. We validate this methodology by comparing the spectral characteristics of the signals emitted by the movement of the cylinder to those induced by a controlled failure of a 2.5 m high vertical face at a nearby site with very similar geology. We find a very good agreement between the two. This methodology can be used as a site investigation tool for the optimization of the deployment geometry of seismic networks for landslide monitoring, as well as to inform machine learning algorithms on automatic detection and classification of recorded signals during seismic monitoring of landslides.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105853
JournalEngineering Geology
Early online date2 Oct 2020
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2020


  • landslide monitoring
  • microseismic analysis
  • field scale
  • shear box
  • landslide seismicity


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