Physics and modeling of various hazardous landslides

Jónas Elíasson*, Þorsteinn Sæmundsson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In 2014, the Varnes classification system for landslides was updated. Complex landslides can still be a problem to classify as the classification does not include the flow type in the hydrody-namical sense. Three examples of Icelandic landslides are presented and later used as case studies in order to demonstrate the methods suggested to analyze the flow. The methods are based on the different physical properties of the flow types of the slides. Three different flow types are presented, named type (i), (ii), and (iii). Types (i) and (ii) do not include turbulent flows and their flow paths are sometimes independent of the velocity. Type (iii) include high velocity flows; they are treated with the translator wave theory, where a new type of a slope factor is used. It allows the slide to stop when the slope has flattened out to the value that corresponds to the stable slope property of the flowing material. The type studies are for a fast slide of this type, also a large slip circle slide that turns into a fast-flowing slide farther down the path and finally a large slide running so fast that it can run for a kilometer on flat land where it stops with a steep front.

Original languageEnglish
Article number108
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalGeosciences (Switzerland)
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

Other keywords

  • Flow type
  • Landslide classification
  • Landslides
  • Slope factor
  • Soil properties
  • Translatory wave


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