This study uses two approaches to conceptualize preferential flow with the goal to investigate their influence on hillslope stability. Synthetic three-dimensional hydrogeological models using dual-permeability and discrete-fracture conceptualization were subsequently integrated into slope stability simulations. The slope stability simulations reveal significant differences in slope stability depending on the preferential flow conceptualization applied, despite similar small-scale hydrogeological responses of the system. This can be explained by a local-scale increase of pore-water pressures observed in the scenario with discrete fractures. The study illustrates the critical importance of correctly conceptualizing preferential flow for slope stability simulations. It further demonstrates that the combination of the latest generation of physically based hydrogeological models with slope stability simulations allows for improvement to current modeling approaches through more complex consideration of preferential flow paths.
Hydrogeology Journal – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 12, 2017
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