DC05: Micro-structural characteristics of failure planes and weak layers – new insights from (4D) mCT measurements combined with geotechnical testing

Host Institutions
University of Bremen

University of Kiel
[6 months]


Nowadays, the weak layer concept, i.e. failure planes of submarine landslides coinciding with mechanically weaker layers embedded within the slope stratigraphy, is commonly accepted. These weak layers are typically associated with material inhomogeneities, such as alternating sequences of clay with sand or highly porous fossiliferous layers. Liquefaction or particle breakage under loading along such sediment sequences can cause pore pressure fluctuations and subsequent failure. Although many studies exist, the characteristics of weak layers and the failure mechanisms that ultimately lead to failure are still poorly understood. DC05 will focus on investigating the role of sediment composition and slope stratigraphy on the localisation of failure planes of submarine landslides.

We aim to develop methodological standards, including a standardised workflow and novel (machine learning) algorithms for the application and interpretation of micro-Computed Tomography (µCT) to investigate natural sediments. The goal of this project is to understand the relative influence of different sediment lithologies on weak layer formation and submarine landslide initiation.

This project has received funding from the European Union under Grant Agreement No. 101120236
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