4D seismic response and slope failure

Coordinator of the BE-CH (FNRS-SNF) joint research project (2018-2021)

‘4D seismic response and slope failure’

Fundamental research with site studies in Belgium, Switzerland and Romania.

PI: Dr. Hans-Balder Havenith, Liege University, Georisks and Environment group, Dep. Geology.
Co-PI: Prof. Donat Fäh, ETH Zurich, Earthquake Hazard and Risk Assessment Section, Swiss Seismological Service.

Belgian collaborators:
Dr. Frédéric Nguyen, Liege University, Applied Geophysics Research Unit, Dep. ARGENCO: Co-PI of the connected ‘Equipment’ proposal.
Dr. Léna Cauchie, , Liege University, Georisk and Environment group, Dep. Geology : Postdoc hired for 2.5 years within the project, to develop seismological prospecting methods.
Mrs. Anne-Sophie Mreyen (FRIA PhD, 2016-2020), Liege University, Georisk and Environment group, Dep. Geology.
Mr. Philippe Cerfontaine (technical collaborator, perm.), Liege University, Georisks and Environment group, Dep. Geology.

Romanian collaborators (research and field surveys):
Dr. Mihai Micu, Institute of Geography, Romanian Academy.
Dr. Carmen Cioflan, National Institute for Earth Physics, Romania.
Dr. Elena Manea, National Institute for Earth Physics, Romania.
Dr. Alexandru Onaca, Dep. Geography, West University of Timisoara.

In the frame of this project, we study the highly variable seismic response and related slope failure potential of multiple hill and mountain morphologies, and related geomorphic-geologic settings (including related deposits) as key issues in multi-hazard analysis.
Our general goal is to reach a fundamental understanding of coupled seismo-tectonic and geomorphic processes, based on extensive field experience and models.
Therefore, we analyse the combined influence of soil layering, fault material and weathered rocks on the propagation of surface waves, the normal mode vibrations of various rock structures as well as the seismic triggering potential of slope instabilities (see also the general scheme in Figure 1).
Application areas are in Belgium (BE), Romania (RO) and Switzerland (CH) and research is organised according to three main axes: Observation – Investigation (Axis 1); Geological and Numerical Modelling, Visualisation (Axis 2); Spatial Analysis and Hazard Assessment (Axis 3).  
Within Axis 1 experimental seismological and seismic techniques will be further developed with enhanced imaging capability and sensitivity. Those data will be jointly analysed together with other geophysical site information.
Within Axis 2 data fusion methods will be combined with geomodelling to integrate all information gathered at different scales. For investigated sites, we will perform advanced 2D and 3D modelling of the seismic response and possibly related plastic deformation, including large mass movement processes.
Reliably interpreting complex input-output information, associated uncertainties and multi-dimensional model building will be supported by 4D database management and 3-4D visualisation modes.
Within Axis 3 new hazard models of earthquake-triggered slope failures will be developed on the basis of proxies linking regional geomorphic-geological information to locally controlled geophysical parameters.
This axis involves geomodelling and prediction of the seismic response at regional scale and related landslide susceptibility analyses.

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