All members of the HKU community and the general public are welcome to join!
Speaker: Ms Levinna Natalia, PhD Candidate, Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, HKU
Moderator: Mr Zhang Li, PhD Candidate, Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, HKU
Date: 11th April 2023 (Tuesday)
Mode: Mixed (both face-to-face and online). Seats for on-site participants are limited. A confirmation email will be sent to participants who have successfully registered.
Climate change increases the frequency and intensity of extreme rainfall events and magnifies the threat of rainfall-induced slope failure. The consequences of these failures can be dramatic and devastating if flow slides are triggered. While considerable efforts have been made in the past decades to understand the failure mechanisms and develop techniques to mitigate the hazards, the complexity of interplays of various factors causes it to remain an area of uncertainty and difficulty in geotechnical engineering. This talk will briefly review and discuss the main factors affecting rainfall-induced slope failures from a perspective integrating the geotechnical, hydrological, and climatological aspects. The two deadly landslides in Sau Mau Ping, Hong Kong, in June 1972 and August 1976, which caused 165 casualties, are revisited. We raise an intriguing question that has long been overlooked: why were the slopes able to withstand the 1972 rainfall but failed in the 1976 rainfall event, given that the rainfall intensity of the latter event was only half of the former. We explore the roles of geological and hydrological settings and the rainfall characteristics to look into the causes and mechanisms of these failures. Implications of the new findings for practice will also be discussed.