Abstract

Three experiments were performed on natural slopes to investigate variations of soil pore-water pressure during induced slope failure. Two sites in the Wasatch Range, Utah, and one site in the San Dimas Experimental Forest of southern California were forced to fail by artificial subsurface irrigation. The sites were instrumented with electronic piezometers and displacement meters to record induced pore pressures and movements of the slopes during failure. Piezometer records show a consistent trend of increasing pressure during the early stages of infiltration and abrupt decreases in pressure from 5 to 50 minutes before failure. Displacement meters failed to register the amount of movement, due to location and ineffectual coupling of meter pins to soil. Observations during the experiments indicate that fractures and macropores controlled the flow of water through the slope and that both water-flow paths and permeability within the slopes were not constant in space or time but changed continually during the course of the experiments.

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