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  • Mathematical modelling of slopes

     Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Yerro Colom, Alba
    Procedia Earth and Planetary Science
    Vol. 9, p. 64-73
    DOI: 10.1016/j.proeps.2014.06.002
    Date of publication: 2014
    Journal article

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    The paper discusses first the effect of rainfall on the stability of slopes and it focusses on the role of permeability. Existing or induced discontinuities are shown to have a remarkable effect on the slope safety. Also, the relevance of changes in hydraulic properties in weathered profiles is discussed through a real case. The performance of modern ¿Lagrangian particle¿ methods and their capabilities to deal with large displacements is presented. The cases solved refer to brittle materials, a common situation in overconsolidated high plasticity clays.

  • Best Paper in the Landslides Journal

     Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Corominas Dulcet, Jordi; Moya Sanchez, Jose
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  • Geotechnical Research Medal 2014

     Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Gens Sole, Antonio
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  • Small scale slope failure benchmark test: modelling and prediction

     Hoffmann Jauge, Christian; Meler, Nuria; Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo
    Procedia Earth and Planetary Science
    Vol. 9, p. 201-205
    DOI: 10.1016/j.proeps.2014.06.021
    Date of publication: 2014
    Journal article

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    A benchmark was designed with the aim of evaluating the capabilities of current modelling techniques and computational codes to reproduce slope failures. Laboratory tests and three instrumented small scale experiments of slopes initially unsaturated and subjected to a controlled rainfall up to failure were performed. The objective of the benchmark was to predict one of the slope failures knowing the rest of the data. The paper presents the modelling strategy and the results obtained using the finite element code Code_Bright and the Barcelona Basic Model as the constitutive model for the unsaturated soils.

  • Access to the full text
    Influencia del desembalse en la estabilidad de una ladera: caso real  Open access

     Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Corominas Dulcet, Jordi; Moya Sanchez, Jose
    Simposio Nacional sobre Taludes y Laderas Inestables
    p. 326-336
    Presentation's date: 2013
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Un aspecto crítico a controlar en la gestión de embalses es la velocidad de descenso de nivel de agua debido al riesgo de inestabilidades en las laderas que lo forman. Este artículo presenta el estudio realizado para conocer las causas del desarrollo de un gran deslizamiento en la ladera de un embalse. Para ello se realizó en primer lugar un reconocimiento geológico y geotécnico con el fin de definir la tipología del movimiento, su geometría y materiales involucrados mediante la realización de sondeos profundos y la instalación de inclinómetros y piezómetros. Se determinó que se trataba de la reactivación de un antiguo deslizamiento traslacional de 40 Mm3. Mediante la observación detallada de los testigos y la información proporcionada por las medidas inclinómetricas, se determinó la posición de la superficie de deslizamiento. Ésta se localizó en un estrato arcilloso de edad Garumniense y de alta plasticidad. Se analizaron en el laboratorio muestras extraídas de esta arcilla y se evaluaron sus propiedades geotécnicas. La causa más probable del movimiento se asignó al descenso rápido del nivel del embalse que alcanzó velocidades de 1.2 m/s. El análisis se realizó para una sección representativa y mediante un programa de elementos finitos capaz de resolver de forma acoplada la respuesta mecánica e hidráulica. Se modeló la variación del nivel del embalse durante los 4 años previos a la rotura. La distribución de presión de agua calculada, determinante en el análisis de estabilidad, se validó mediante la comparación de los resultados con los valores medidos en los piezómetros instalados alrededor de la superficie de deslizamiento después de la rotura.

    Un aspecto crítico a controlar en la gestión de embalses es la velocidad de descenso de nivel de agua debido al riesgo de inestabilidades en las laderas que lo forman. Este artículo presenta el estudio realizado para conocer las causas del desarrollo de un gran deslizamiento en la ladera de un embalse. Para ello se realizó en primer lugar un reconocimiento geológico y geotécnico con el fin de definir la tipología del movimiento, su geometría y materiales involucrados mediante la realización de sondeos profundos y la instalación de inclinómetros y piezómetros. Se determinó que se trataba de la reactivación de un antiguo deslizamiento traslacional de 40 Mm3. Mediante la observación detallada de los testigos y la información proporcionada por las medidas inclinómetricas, se determinó la posición de la superficie de deslizamiento. Ésta se localizó en un estrato arcilloso de edad Garumniense y de alta plasticidad. Se analizaron en el laboratorio muestras extraídas de esta arcilla y se evaluaron sus propiedades geotécnicas. La causa más probable del movimiento se asignó al descenso rápido del nivel del embalse que alcanzó velocidades de 1.2 m/s. El análisis se realizó para una sección representativa y mediante un programa de elementos finitos capaz de resolver de forma acoplada la respuesta mecánica e hidráulica. Se modeló la variación del nivel del embalse durante los 4 años previos a la rotura. La distribución de presión de agua calculada, determinante en el análisis de estabilidad, se validó mediante la comparación de los resultados con los valores medidos en los piezómetros instalados alrededor de la superficie de deslizamiento después de la rotura.

  • Modelación de deslizamientos con el Método del Punto Material

     Yerro Colom, Alba; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce
    Congreso de Métodos Numéricos en Ingeniería
    p. 1
    Presentation's date: 2013-06-26
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Compacted soil behaviour: initial state, structure and constitutive modelling

     Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Gens Sole, Antonio
    Géotechnique
    Vol. 63, num. 6, p. 463-478
    DOI: 10.1680/geot.11.P.134
    Date of publication: 2012-11
    Journal article

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    The paper explores the behaviour of compacted soils throughout the (dry density-water content) compaction plane by means of a conceptual framework that incorporates microstructural information. The engineering properties of compacted soils are described by an initial state in terms of a yielding stress, soil suction and a microstructural state variable. Microstructure is defined by the ratio of microvoid volume to total void volume. The pattern of variation of the microstructural parameter within the compaction plane has been determined, for some compacted soils, by analysing mercury intrusion porosimetry data. The microstructure of wet and dry compaction conditions can then be quantified. To ensure consistency, the framework is cast in the form of a constitutive model defined in terms of an effective suction and a constitutive stress that incorporate the microstructural variable...

  • PREMI EXTRAORDINARI DE DOCTORAT

     Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce
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  • Rapid drawdown in embankment dams

     Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Olivella Pastalle, Sebastian
    DOI: 10.1201/b12130-1
    Date of publication: 2012
    Book chapter

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  • Design of micropiles for tunnel face reinforcement: undrained upper bound solution

     Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo
    Journal of geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering
    Vol. 138, num. 1, p. 89-99
    DOI: 10.1061/(ASCE)GT.1943-5606.0000562
    Date of publication: 2012-01
    Journal article

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    The stability of tunnel faces supported by an umbrella of subhorizontal micropiles is analyzed by means of the upper bound theorem of plasticity. The micropiles are considered beams subjected to the kinematic motion imposed by the assumed failure mechanism. The limiting resistance of the supporting beams is first addressed. The failure mechanism imposes a displacement pattern on the beam, which is similar to the response of vertical piles subjected to horizontal load. The mechanism of beam deformation was included into the overall instability mechanism for the tunnel face stability. Limiting conditions of the beam under undrained conditions are used. A general minimization process associated with the upper bound formulation is developed. Stability conditions are described in dimensionless parameters and plotted in ready-to-use design charts. In particular, a dimensionless micropile coefficient, which includes all the relevant design parameters of the umbrella, could be isolated and plotted in undrained soil strength and tunnel geometry. A real face failure is finally described, and the required supporting umbrella is designed on the basis of the developed procedure.

    The stability of tunnel faces supported by an umbrella of subhorizontal micropiles is analyzed by means of the upper bound theorem of plasticity. The micropiles are considered beams subjected to the kinematic motion imposed by the assumed failure mechanism. The limiting resistance of the supporting beams is first addressed. The failure mechanism imposes a displacement pattern on the beam, which is similar to the response of vertical piles subjected to horizontal load. The mechanism of beam deformation was included into the overall instability mechanism for the tunnel face stability. Limiting conditions of the beam under undrained conditions are used. A general minimization process associated with the upper bound formulation is developed. Stability conditions are described in dimensionless parameters and plotted in ready-to-use design charts. In particular, a dimensionless micropile coefficient, which includes all the relevant design parameters of the umbrella, could be isolated and plotted in undrained soil strength and tunnel geometry. A real face failure is finally described, and the required supporting umbrella is designed on the basis of the developed procedure.

  • Canelles landslide: Modelling rapid drawdown and fast potential sliding

     Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Corominas Dulcet, Jordi; Moya Sanchez, Jose
    Landslides
    Vol. 95, num. 1, p. 33-51
    DOI: 10.1007/s10346-011-0264-x
    Date of publication: 2012-03
    Journal article

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  • Incorporating a microstructural state variable in constitutive modeling

     Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Gens Sole, Antonio
    Pan-American Conference on Unsaturated Soils
    p. 443-449
    Presentation's date: 2012-02
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    The selection of constitutive variables has been extensively discussed when modeling unsaturated soils. In general, suction and degree of saturation have been involved in the definition of constitutive variables. Recently, microstructural features have also been included due to their relevant effects on the mechanical and hydraulic soil response. This is the case of a model recently published by the same authors which includes a state variable in the definition of the constitutive variables to take into account microstructural effects. Details of the performance of this model, which has a relatively simple elastoplastic formulation, are presented. The simulation of isotropic stress paths illustrates the capabilities of the model and the effect of the microstructural state variable

  • Modelling compacted soil behaviour including microstructural features

     Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Gens Sole, Antonio
    European Conference on Unsaturated Soils
    p. vol 2: p. 119-127
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-31343-1_15
    Presentation's date: 2012
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  • Rapid drawdown and landslides

     Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Olivella Pastalle, Sebastian
    International Symposium on Landslides
    p. 529-535
    Presentation's date: 2012-06
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Predicting the pore pressure distribution in a slope after rapid drawdown conditions requires the solution of a coupled flow‐deformation analysis in a saturated‐unsaturated porous media. A fully coupled finite element code (Code_Bright), able to handle in a consistent manner the drawdown conditions, is used to simulate the pore water pressure measured in the upstream slope of an earth dam (Glen Shira Dam, Scotland) subjected to a controlled rapid drawdown event. A comparison of some calculation alternatives is then given and compared with field pressure records. The paper describes also the analysis performed to interpret a recent case of a major landslide triggered by a rapid drawdown in a reservoir. A key aspect of the case is the correct characterization of permeability of representative soil profiles. This is achieved by combining laboratory test results and a back analysis of pore water pressure time records during a period of reservoir level fluctuations.

  • Modelling the response of Lechago earth and rockfill dam

     Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Olivella Pastalle, Sebastian; Soriano, A.; Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Esteban, F.
    Géotechnique
    Vol. 61, num. 5, p. 387-407
    DOI: 10.1680/geot.SIP11.P.013
    Date of publication: 2011-03
    Journal article

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    Lechago dam (Teruel, Spain) is a 40 m high zoned earth and rockfill dam sitting on soft continental deltaic deposits. A relatively narrow central clay core is stabilised by wide rockfill shoulders. The dam was well instrumented and continuous records of stress development, pore-water pressures and vertical displacements are available for the construction period. Compaction conditions were followed by means of laboratory and in situ control tests. Core clay material was investigated by means of tests performed on compacted specimens of tertiary clays. Rockfill samples were excavated in outcrops of highly fractured Cambrian quartzitic shale. A testing programme on compacted rockfill gravels was conducted under relative humidity control in a large-diameter oedometer and triaxial cells. A coupled finite-element model has been developed to analyse the tests performed and dam behaviour during construction. Model predictions, essentially based on laboratory tests, are compared with measurements during construction. The predicted response of the dam under an assumed programme of impounding is also given. In the future, once impounding occurs, it will be possible to compare these predictions with actual dam performance. The paper provides an integrated description of the dam design, construction and early behaviour. It presents a procedure to interpret available data (laboratory as well as in situ data) on compacted materials from the perspective of modern constitutive models. It also provides an evaluation of the capabilities of advanced numerical tools to reproduce the measured dam behaviour.

  • Foundation of a gravity dam on layered soft rock: shear strength of bedding planes in laboratory and large ¿in situ¿ tests

     Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Pineda, Jubert Edgar
    European Conference on Soil Mechanics and Geotechnical Engineering
    p. 389-394
    Presentation's date: 2011
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    A 100 m high gravity dam (Castrovido dam, Burgos, Spain) is founded on a soft Weald red siltstone with interbedded sandstone strata. Dam stability is essentially controlled by the available shear strength of sedimentation planes. Block samples were recovered for the different types of contact identified. They were tested in high capacity shear box machine (30x30 cm) and in large scale shear tests. The roughness of the sheared plane was determined after each one of the tests. Additional information includes the results of residual strength tests performed on clay fillings on a ring shear apparatus. The results of all the tests performed are compared in the paper showing the effect of field surface roughness. The paper also discusses the procedure followed to select an appropriate strength envelope for design purposes on the basis of all the available information. The case points out the difficulty to select unambiguously a suitable design strength for the critical sedimentation surfaces despite the efforts displayed in the field and in the laboratory.

  • Modelling compacted soils

     Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo
    Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil - International Conference on Dam Engineering
    p. 955-974
    Presentation's date: 2011-02
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Mechanical and hydraulic compacted soil properties for a given soil mineralogy are essentially controlled by the attained dry density, water content and microstructure. Basic compaction conditions (wet or dry of optimum, higher or lower energy of compaction) result in changes in microstructure. The paper attempts to provide a procedure of increasing accuracy to translate compaction concepts, rooted in common practice, into a modelling framework capable of explaining the behaviour of compacted soils. The approach developed is divided into the following stages: a) The classical compaction variables are interpreted in terms of two stress-like variables. They are regarded as the initial state for a given elasto-plastic constitutive model. The usefulness of this approach is discussed with some examples. b) A proper constitutive framework should introduce explicitly density effects in order to capture a swelling-collapse transition during wetting, a particularly important case in practice since embankments or dams usually experience a wetting increase path after initial compaction. The paper shows how the double structure model introduced by the authors is capable of including density effects in a natural manner. c) Further affects of microstructure are introduced through a different approach namely by defining an appropriate effective stress in terms of a microstructural parameter. This idea enhances the capabilities of previous frameworks.

  • Lechago dam: a case study

     Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Olivella Pastalle, Sebastian; Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce
    Laboratório Nacional de Engenharia Civil - International Conference on Dam Engineering
    p. 59-72
    Presentation's date: 2011
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Lechago dam (Teruel, Spain) is a 40 m high zoned earth and rockfill dam founded on soft continental deltaic deposits. A relatively narrow central clay core is stabilized by wide rockfill shoulders. The dam was completed in January 2009 and impounding will probably start at the beginning of 2011. The dam was well instrumented and continuous records of stress development, pore water pressures and horizontal and vertical displacements are available for the construction period. The clay core material was investigated by means of tests performed on compacted specimens of Tertiary clays. Rockfill samples were excavated in outcrops of highly fractured Cambrian quartzitic shale. In the years to follow the dam design, an extensive testing program on compacted rockfill gravels was conducted under Relative Humidity control in large diameter oedometer and triaxial cells. The results of this research have been reported in a number of papers. A coupled FE model has been developed to analyze the dam behaviour during construction. Model predictions, essentially based on laboratory tests, are compared with measurements during construction.

  • Earth dam sliding failure: Aznalcóllar dam, Spain

     Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Puzrin, Alexander
    DOI: 10.1007/978-90-481-3538-7
    Date of publication: 2010
    Book chapter

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    Geotechnical failures, specially the catastrophic ones, are an excellent experience and a source of inspiration to improve our current understanding of phenomena and our procedures and tools for analysis and prediction. This unconventional manner to learn Geomechanics is the essence of this book which teaches how to build the necessary models to understand failures. Balance and equilibrium equations are formulated at different scales which are selected having in mind the abstract representation of the key concepts of each case.

  • Collapse of compacted soil: Girona road embankments, Spain

     Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Puzrin, Alexander
    DOI: 10.1007/978-90-481-3538-7
    Date of publication: 2010
    Book chapter

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    Geotechnical failures, specially the catastrophic ones, are an excellent experience and a source of inspiration to improve our current understanding of phenomena and our procedures and tools for analysis and prediction. This unconventional manner to learn Geomechanics is the essence of this book which teaches how to build the necessary models to understand failures. Balance and equilibrium equations are formulated at different scales which are selected having in mind the abstract representation of the key concepts of each case.

  • Thermo-hydro-mechanics of a rapid slide: Vaiont landslide, Italy

     Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Puzrin, Alexander
    DOI: 10.1007/978-90-481-3538-7
    Date of publication: 2010
    Book chapter

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    Geotechnical failures, specially the catastrophic ones, are an excellent experience and a source of inspiration to improve our current understanding of phenomena and our procedures and tools for analysis and prediction. This unconventional manner to learn Geomechanics is the essence of this book which teaches how to build the necessary models to understand failures. Balance and equilibrium equations are formulated at different scales which are selected having in mind the abstract representation of the key concepts of each case.

  • Landslides in reservoirs. A coupled thermo-hydromechanical approach  Open access  awarded activity

     Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce
    Department of Geotechnical Engineering and Geo-Sciences, Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
    Theses

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    La ocurrencia de deslizamientos es uno de los principales problemas presentes durante el diseño, construcción y explotación de presas y embalses. La inundación del pie de los taludes, así como el desembalse rápido, pueden provocar primeras roturas o reactivar antiguos deslizamientos, existentes con frecuencia en el entorno de los embalses. Esta Tesis se centra en el caso particular de los deslizamientos en las márgenes de embalses en los que una masa de terreno desliza sobre una superficie de corte bien definida sin que se observe una intensa degradación del material movilizado. En la primera parte de la Tesis se discute el desembalse rápido como un problema acoplado de flujo y deformación en condiciones saturadas/no saturadas. Un riesgo adicional aparece cuando el deslizamiento acelera e invade el embalse a gran velocidad, generando una ola. La discusión de los fenómenos responsables de la aceleración de los deslizamientos sigue actualmente activa. Probablemente la falta de casos bien documentados dificulta el avance en su conocimiento. En esta Tesis se considera como fenómeno responsable de la aceleración del deslizamiento el efecto del calor en la banda de corte, lo que induce la generación de presión de agua y, por consiguiente, la reducción de la resistencia friccional. Se definen las ecuaciones del problema (balance de masa y calor y ecuaciones constitutivas) en la banda de corte y se integran junto a la ecuación del movimiento. Con objeto de encontrar criterios prácticos para cuantificar el riesgo de aceleración debido al fenómeno analizado, se ha obtenido una solución analítica para el caso de deslizamientos planos bajo las hipótesis de incompresibilidad del agua, partículas sólidas y medio poroso. La comparación entre la solución analítica y la numérica (sin considerar las hipótesis impuestas en el desarrollo analítico), cuando se varían los parámetros más relevantes dentro de un rango razonable, indica que la solución analítica es suficientemente precisa para aplicaciones prácticas. El desarrollo termo-hidro-mecánico presentado se aplica al caso del deslizamiento de Vaiont. En primer lugar se explica la situación de estabilidad previa a la rotura introduciendo la resistencia de la roca movilizada. El análisis es coherente con la información disponible (geometrías del deslizamiento, resistencia residual, propiedades de los materiales y ensayos de laboratorio). Cuando el mecanismo de generación de presión de agua debido al calor resultante del trabajo friccional se incluye en el análisis dinámico del modelo del deslizamiento de Vaiont, se predice bien la alta velocidad observada. Se han realizado análisis de sensibilidad y de efecto escala tanto para el caso de deslizamiento plano como para la geometría de Vaiont. Se han encontrado tres parámetros relevantes para explicar la aceleración del movimiento: el espesor de la banda de corte, su permeabilidad y su rigidez. De hecho, la permeabilidad y el espesor de la banda de corte están directamente relacionados dado que ambos dependen de la granulometría del material. Los resultados obtenidos indican que la permeabilidad de la banda es el parámetro clave. Un umbral de permeabilidad establecido entre 10-8 y 10-10 m/s, marca la transición entre deslizamientos potencialmente acelerados (cuando la permeabilidad es baja) y deslizamientos seguros (permeabilidades mayores a 10-10 m/s). En el caso de deslizamientos de grandes dimensiones, combinaciones críticas de la permeabilidad y espesor de la banda de corte resultan en un incremento substancial de la temperatura. Los altos valores resultantes de los cálculos (cientos o miles de ºC) invalidan el análisis aquí presentado. Fenómenos como la evaporación o la fusión de la roca deberían ser incluidos en estos casos. En el último Capítulo se analiza el deslizamiento de Canelles ocurrido recientemente. El deslizamiento pone en riesgo el buen funcionamiento de la presa y del embalse. Algunos de los desarrollos descritos en la Tesis, como son la solución del desembalse rápido y el modelo termo-hidro-mecánico para el análisis de la aceleración de los deslizamientos se han aplicado al caso de Canelles. El capítulo describe la metodología adoptada, que puede ser aplicada en casos similares.

    Landsliding is an important problem when facing the design, construction and operation of dams and reservoirs. Impoundment of the slope toes as well as the rapid drawdown may trigger the movement of first-time landslides or reactivate ancient landslides often located in reservoir sites. This Thesis deals with the particular case of landslides around reservoirs defined as a mobilized mass that slides on a well-defined shearing surface without experiencing a major degradation. In the first part of the Thesis the mechanism of rapid drawdown is discussed as a fully coupled flow-deformation problem for saturated/unsaturated conditions. Additional risk appears when landslide accelerates and is able to enter the reservoir at high speed creating impulsive waves. The discussion on the different phenomena leading to the fast acceleration is today very active. Probably the lack of well-documented cases makes the advancement of knowledge difficult. The mechanism to explain the rapid acceleration of landslides favoured in this Thesis is based on thermal effects on the sliding surface that induce the generation of pore water pressure and therefore, the reduction of the frictional strength. The governing equations (mass and heat balance equations and constitutive equations) formulated in the shear band have been written and integrated together with the motion equation of the slide. With the aim of finding practical criteria to decide the actual risk of slide acceleration due the phenomena analysed, a closed-form solution has been obtained for the case of planar landslides under the hypothesis of incompressible water, solid particles and porous media. For a rational range of the most relevant parameters, comparison between analytical and numerical (relaxing the assumptions introduced in the analytical development) solutions shows a remarkable similarity and reveals that the closed-form solution is accurate enough for practical applications. The thermo-hydro-mechanical approach discussed is applied in the case of Vaiont landslide. The stability of this landslide before the failure is first discussed by means of a simple explanation introducing the internal strength of the mobilized rock. The analysis is consistent with the available data (slide geometry, residual strength, material properties and laboratory tests). When the self-feeding mechanism of pore pressure generation due to heat resulting from the frictional work is introduced in the dynamic analysis of the Vaiont model, the high velocity actually observed is predicted. Sensitivity and scale analysis have been performed for the case of a planar landslide and for the geometry of Vaiont. Three parameters have been found important to explain the acceleration of the motion: the thickness of the shearing band, its permeability and its stiffness. In fact, permeability and thickness can be related since both depend on the particle size distribution. Calculated results indicate that the permeability of the shear band is a key parameter. A threshold of permeability established around 10-8 to 10-10 m/s marks the transition for a potentially risky slide (when the permeability is lower) to a safe one (for higher values of permeability). For very large landslides, critical combinations of band permeability and band thickness result in a substantial increase in temperature. At high calculated values of temperature (hundreds or even thousands of ºC), the analysis presented is not applicable. Evaporation or advance constitutive equations including rock melting should be included. In a final chapter a recent large landslide located in Canelles reservoir is analyzed. The slide is regarded as a potential risk for the operation of the dam and the reservoir. Some of the developments made in the Thesis, namely the solution of rapid drawdown and the thermal coupled model for fast landsliding, are applied to Canelles. The chapter describes the methodology adopted which can be applied in similar cases.

  • Landslides in reservoirs and dam operation

     Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce
    Date of publication: 2010
    Book chapter

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  • Criteria for rapid sliding II. Thermo-hydro-mechanical and scale effects in Vaiont case

     Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo
    Engineering geology
    Vol. 114, num. 3-4, p. 211-227
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enggeo.2010.04.017
    Date of publication: 2010-08
    Journal article

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  • Criteria for rapid sliding I: a review of Vaiont case

     Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce
    Engineering geology
    Vol. 114, num. 3-4, p. 198-210
    DOI: 10.1016/j.enggeo.2010.04.018
    Date of publication: 2010-08
    Journal article

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  • Geomechanics of failures

     Puzrin, A.M; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce
    Date of publication: 2010
    Book

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  • Geomechanics of failures: advanced topics

     Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Puzrin, A.M
    DOI: 10.1007/978-90-481-3538-7
    Date of publication: 2010
    Book

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    Geotechnical failures, specially the catastrophic ones, are an excellent experience and a source of inspiration to improve our current understanding of phenomena and our procedures and tools for analysis and prediction. This unconventional manner to learn Geomechanics is the essence of this book which teaches how to build the necessary models to understand failures. Balance and equilibrium equations are formulated at different scales which are selected having in mind the abstract representation of the key concepts of each case.

  • Fast planar slides. A closed-form thermo-hydro-mechanical solution

     Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo
    International journal for numerical and analytical methods in geomechanics
    Vol. 34, num. 1, p. 27-52
    DOI: 10.1002/nag.795
    Date of publication: 2010
    Journal article

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    Heat-induced eccess pore pressures on the failure surface of a planar slide have been calculated by solving the mass and heat balance equations on the shear band. The set of differential equations and the equation of motion of the slide have been solved in closed form for the case of incompressible fluid and incompressible soil skeleton. The solution describes the accelerated motion of the slide. It has been compared with the numerical solution when soil and water stiffness terms are not disregarded. A case study, based on a well-known translational slide (Cortes slide) has been solved. Numerical and analytical solutions are compared. Results of a sensitivity analysis indicate that the permeability of the shear band is the key parameter to control the onset of a rapid motion. For a band permeability above a threshold value, in the vicinity of 10-15m2 (10-8m/s), fast accelerated motions are very unlikely.

    Heat-induced eccess pore pressures on the failure surface of a planar slide have been calculated by solving the mass and heat balance equations on the shear band. The set of differential equations and the equation of motion of the slide have been solved in closed form for the case of incompressible fluid and incompressible soil skeleton. The solution describes the accelerated motion of the slide. It has been compared with the numerical solution when soil and water stiffness terms are not disregarded. A case study, based on a well-known translational slide (Cortes slide) has been solved. Numerical and analytical solutions are compared. Results of a sensitivity analysis indicate that the permeability of the shear band is the key parameter to control the onset of a rapid motion. For a band permeability above a threshold value, in the vicinity of 10−15m2 (10−8m/s), fast accelerated motions are very unlikely.

  • Rotura de cajones bajo la acción del oleaje

     Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce
    Jornadas Técnicas SEMSIG-AETESS
    p. 31-53
    Presentation's date: 2010
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Landslides in reservoirs and dam operation

     Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce
    International Congress on Dam Maintenance and Rehabilitation
    p. 3-28
    Presentation's date: 2010
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Mejor trabajo de investigación en Mecánica de Rocas

     Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce
    Award or recognition

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  • LIVING WITH LANDSLIDE RISK IN EUROPE:ASSESSMENT, EFFECTS OF GLOBAL CHANGE AND RISK MANAGEMENT STRATEGIES

     Hürlimann Ziegler, Marcel; Olivella Pastalle, Sebastian; Fabregas Canovas, Francisco Javier; Moya Sanchez, Jose; Lantada Zarzosa, Nieves; Romero Morales, Enrique Edgar; Aguasca Sole, Alberto; Mallorqui Franquet, Jordi Joan; Baeza Adell, Cristina; Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Gili Ripoll, Jose Antonio; Ledesma Villalba, Alberto; Lloret Morancho, Antonio; Corominas Dulcet, Jordi
    Competitive project

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  • Unsaturated soil mechanics

     Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Rojas, E
    Reunión Nacional de Mecánica de Suelos e Ingeniería Geotécnica
    p. 117-208
    Presentation's date: 2009-11-28
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Long term behaviour and size effects of coarse granular media

     Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Oldecop, Luciano; Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce
    DOI: 10-1007/978-3-642-03578-4
    Date of publication: 2009
    Book chapter

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  • Confederación Hidrográfica del Duero: Embalse de Castrovido: Informe Geotécnico

     Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce
    Date: 2009-03
    Report

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  • Long term behaviour and size effects of coarse granular media

     Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Oldecop, Luciano; Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce
    Symposium on Mechanics of Natural Solids
    p. 255-282
    DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-03578-4_12
    Presentation's date: 2009
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Deslizamientos acelerados. Criterios de ocurrencia.

     Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo
    Simposio Nacional sobre Taludes y Laderas Inestables
    p. 61-94
    Presentation's date: 2009-10-27
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Access to the full text
    Slope stability under rapid drawdown conditions  Open access

     Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce
    Italian Workshop on Landslides
    p. 11-27
    Presentation's date: 2009-06-08
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    The rapid drawdown condition arises when submerged slopes experience rapid reduction of the external water level. Classical analysis procedures are grouped in two classes: the “stress-based” undrained approach, recommended for impervious materials and the flow approach, which is specified for rigid pervious materials (typically a granular soil). Field conditions often depart significantly from these simplified cases and involve materials of different permeability and compressibility arranged in a complex geometry. The drawdown problem is presented in the paper as a fully coupled flow-deformation problem for saturated/unsaturated conditions. Some fundamental concepts are first discussed in a qualitative manner and, later, explored in more detail through the analysis of two embankment dams. In Shira earthdam pore pressures were recorded at different points inside the embankment as a consequence of a controlled drawdown. Predictions of four calculation procedures (instantaneous drawdown, pure flow, coupled flow-elastic and coupled flow-elastoplastic, all of them for saturated/unsaturated conditions) are compared with measured pressure records. Only the coupled analysis provides a consistent and reasonable solution. The case of a large landslide, immediate to a reservoir, reactivated by a condition of rapid drawdown is also described in the paper.

    Postprint (author’s final draft)

  • Presiones intersticiales en desembalse rápido

     Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Olivella Pastalle, Sebastian
    Congreso de Métodos Numéricos en Ingeniería
    p. 358-359
    Presentation's date: 2009-07-02
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Unsaturated Soil Mechanics in Earth and Rockfill Dam Engineering

     Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce
    Europ. Conf. on Unsaturated Soils E-UNSAT
    p. 3-32
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Hydric and effects on long term deformations of rockfill embankments

     Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Oldecop, Luciano
    First International Conference on Long Time Effects and Seepage Behavior of Dams
    p. 81-90
    Presentation's date: 2008-06-01
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Constitutive modelling of bonded expansive geomaterials  Open access

     Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce
    International Workshop of Young Doctors in Geomechanics
    p. 51-55
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    This paper presents a discussion on existing approaches to derive constitutive models for bonded geomaterials conceived as composite materials. The methodology involves the partitioning of strains, the adoption of constitutive models of constituents and the integration of component stresses into the external stress. These steps are guided by microstructural observations, but are open to alternative formulations which are part of the overall constitutive behaviour.

  • Rapid drawdown in slopes and embankments

     Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Olivella Pastalle, Sebastian
    Water resources research
    Vol. 44, num. W00D03, p. 1-22
    DOI: 10.1029/2007WR006525
    Date of publication: 2008-10
    Journal article

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  • Coupled THM problems in geotechnical engineering using code_bright gid

     Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Olivella Pastalle, Sebastian; Garitte, Benoit; Vaunat, Jean
    Conference on Advances and Applications on GiD
    p. 125-135
    Presentation's date: 2008-05-08
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Desembalse rápido en laderas y presas. Procedimientos avanzados de cálculo

     Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Olivella Pastalle, Sebastian
    Jornadas Española de Presas
    p. 24-25
    Presentation's date: 2008-11-27
    Presentation of work at congresses

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  • Hydric and creep effects on long term deformations of rockfill embankments

     Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Oldecop, Luciano Agustin
    International Conference on Long Time Effects and Seepage Behavior of Dams
    p. 81-90
    Presentation's date: 2008
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Parámetros de diseño, métodos de cálculo y solicitaciones  Open access

     Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce
    Jornadas Técnicas sobre Estabilidad de Laderas en Embalses
    p. 45-117
    Presentation's date: 2007-06-11
    Presentation of work at congresses

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    Se presenta una serie de roturas en las que fue posible comparar los ángulos de fricción derivados mediante análisis retrospectivo con los obtenidos en ensayos de laboratorio utilizando técnicas diferentes. Cuando el deslizamiento es a favor de los planos de sedimentación el único procedimiento fiable de laboratorio es ensayar la superficie de desplazamiento. En otros casos, cuando la actividad geomorfológica es el origen de la inestabilidad, los ensayos de corte directo drenados, tras la aplicación de ciclos repetidos de carga y descarga, proporcionan valores próximos a la fricción “in situ”. Se discuten en el artículo varios mecanismos que conducen a la reducción de la resistencia disponible en la superficie de la rotura, incluyendo la rotura progresiva. Se aborda al análisis de la estabilidad de laderas en presencia del la acción del agua que se introduce en el embalse. Se discuten dos casos: nivel de agua estacionario y desembalse rápido. Finalmente se discuten los valores a adoptar en la práctica para el Factor de Seguridad.

    Postprint (author’s final draft)

  • Avances en la geotecnia de presas

     Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce
    Date of publication: 2007
    Book chapter

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  • A constitutive model for soft clayey rocks that includes weathering effects

     Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce; Vaunat, Jean; Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo
    Géotechnique
    Vol. 57, num. 2, p. 137-151
    DOI: 10.1680/geot.2007.57.2.137
    Date of publication: 2007-02
    Journal article

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  • Avances en la geotecnia de presas

     Alonso Pérez de Agreda, Eduardo; Pinyol Puigmarti, Nuria Merce
    Homenaje a Agustín de Betancourt y Molina
    p. 197-244
    Presentation's date: 2007
    Presentation of work at congresses

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