Send to

Choose Destination
Phys Rev Lett. 2009 Oct 30;103(18):188301. Epub 2009 Oct 28.

Quick clay and landslides of clayey soils.

Author information

van der Waals-Zeeman Institute, University of Amsterdam, Valckenierstraat 65, 1018XE Amsterdam, The Netherlands.


We study the rheology of quick clay, an unstable soil responsible for many landslides. We show that above a critical stress the material starts flowing abruptly with a very large viscosity decrease caused by the flow. This leads to avalanche behavior that accounts for the instability of quick clay soils. Reproducing landslides on a small scale in the laboratory shows that an additional factor that determines the violence of the slides is the inhomogeneity of the flow. We propose a simple yield stress model capable of reproducing the laboratory landslide data, allowing us to relate landslides to the measured rheology.

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for American Physical Society
Loading ...
Support Center