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4D electrical resistivity to monitor unstable slopes in mountainous tropical regions: an example from Munnar, India

Publication Type : Journal Article

Source : Landslides, 20(5), 1031-1044.

Campus : Amritapuri

Center : Amrita Center for Wireless Networks and Applications (AmritaWNA)

Year : 2023

Abstract : The number of large landslides in India has risen in the recent years, due to an increased occurrence of extreme monsoon rainfall events. There is an urgent need to improve our understanding of moisture-induced landslide dynamics, which vary both spatially and temporally. Geophysical methods provide integrated tools to monitor subsurface hydrological processes in unstable slopes at high spatial resolution. They are complementary to more conventional approaches using networks of point sensors, which can provide high temporal resolution information but are severely limited in terms of spatial resolution. Here, we present and discuss data from an electrical resistivity tomography monitoring system-called PRIME-deployed at the Amrita Landslide Early Warning System (Amrita-LEWS) site located in Munnar in the Western Ghats (Kerala, India). The system monitors changes in electrical resistivity in the subsurface of a landslide-prone slope that directly threatens a local community. The monitoring system provides a 4D resistivity model informing on the moisture dynamics in the subsurface of the slope. Results from a 10-month period spanning from pre-monsoon to the end of the monsoon season 2019 are presented and discussed with regard to the spatial variation of soil moisture. The temporal changes in resistivity within the slope are further investigated through the use of time-series clustering and compared to weather and subsurface pore water pressure data. This study sheds new light on the hydrological processes occurring in the shallow subsurface during the monsoon and potentially leading to slope failure. This geophysical approach aims at better understanding and forecasting slope failure to reduce the risk for the local community, thereby providing a powerful tool to be included in local landslide early warning systems.

Cite this Research Publication : Watlet, A., Thirugnanam, H., Singh, B., Kumar M, N., Brahmanandan, D., Inauen, C.,& Ramesh, M. V. (2023). 4D electrical resistivity to monitor unstable slopes in mountainous tropical regions: an example from Munnar, India. Landslides, 20(5), 1031-1044.

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