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Seismic Triggering of Submarine Landslides

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In recent years, increasing attention has been focused on the problem of submarine slope stability. The global economy requires a better, wider reaching infrastructure, able to quickly distribute resources, such as oil and gas, from the point of production to the points of use. An expanding network of telecommunication cables is also crossing the ocean floors and breakages caused by slope failures would interrupt or delay the flow of information around the world. In addition, large submarine slides can cause tsunamis, which can be devastating for the coastal communities on the wave’s path.

A number of the failures takes place on slopes inclined 5° or less and typical soil profiles consist of almost parallel layers of normally consolidated clay. The submerged slope under earthquake loading can be modelled using simple shear conditions and a compatible set of constitutive laws to describe the response of the soil. A multi-directional simple shear device allows loading along three independent axes, two perpendicular horizontal directions to allow any stress or strain paths in the horizontal plane, and a third in the vertical direction. This prototype provides the ability to apply shear stresses and complex loading paths to soil samples. The experimental program focused on investigating the effects of anisotropy of Gulf of Mexico clay subjected to cyclic loading.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Geotechnical Society Seminar Series series.

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