Abstract

Weathering affects joint or fault gougematerial in the Swiss Alps, leading to the formation of smectite, which changes the mechanical properties of fault gouge and degrades slope performance. Analysis of recent rockslides in gneissic rocks in Switzerland indicates that accelerations of movements are linked to precipitation, without the development of excess pore water pressure. Processes such as weathering and crushing induce soil-like behaviour of the infilling material and explain rockslide movements induced by water seepage in both fault and joint gouges.

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