ABSTRACT

Quick clay, which is the main cause of landslides that occur in the northern countries, liquefies easily, and its presence implies an increased risk of landslide. Geophysical methods have been increasingly used in landslide investigations. Three-dimensional electric resistivity tomography, radio magnetotelluric (RMT), controlled-source RMT (CSRMT), and high-resolution reflection seismic data were acquired at a quick-clay landslide site in the southwest of Sweden. The main objectives were to evaluate the capability of each method in delineating different subsurface geologic structures that controlled a peculiar and hazardous retrogressive-type landslide in the study area. A 3D resistivity model from the inversion of CSRMT data showed the best correlation with the reflection seismic data and borehole information, thanks to the broad frequency range of the data set. It better imaged the resistive crystalline bedrock underlying the marine conductive clays and showed considerable correlations with the 3D reflection seismic data in resolving a coarse-grained layer that was interpreted to act as a conduit directing freshwater into the clays under a confined pressure, leaching their salt and forming quick clays. The 3D CSRMT resistivity model and 3D reflection seismic data showed that the coarse-grained layer has a varying thickness. At some locations, it was too thin to be resolved by the methods used here. Combination of the CSRMT model, reflection seismic data, and the borehole data suggested that a layer with thickness of approximately 5 m and resistivity between 20and30Ωm was potentially quick clay, which probably extended laterally in the entire study area. These observations suggested that future developments should focus on joint inversion of such 3D data sets incorporating sharp boundaries as constraints in the inversion and particularly when quick clays were studied.

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