Abstract

We use a ring-shear apparatus to examine the relationship between the residual strength and mineralogical properties of landslide soils and find a significant relation between the residual strength parameter, φr, and the total content of layer silicate minerals prone to preferred orientation within the bulk soil. In this context, the total content of smectite, vermiculite, chlorite, and mica in the sub-425-μm soil fraction is a suitable mineralogical parameter for estimating the magnitude of φr. Plotting φr as a function of total mineral content forms a chair-shaped curve, based on which we classify landslide soils into three groups. In the first group of soils, sliding appears to be controlled by minerals such as quartz, feldspar, calcite, dolomite, and layer silicate minerals other than smectite, vermiculite, chlorite, and mica and their φr is almost constant at ∼32°. In the second group of soils, the controlling mineralogical factor for sliding quickly shifts from nonpreferred-orientation minerals to preferred-orientation minerals and φr decreases from 30° to 10°. In the third group of soils, sliding is well controlled by preferred-orientation layer silicate minerals and φr gradually decreases from 10° to 5°. The results show that the relationship can be used for predicting φr of a wide range of landslide soils that differ in geology, soil type, mineralogical properties, and shear strength.

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