The rock walls of the Valles Marineris valleys (VM) in the equatorial area of Mars exhibit several gravitational failures which resulted in a series of large landslides up to several hundred cubic kilometers in volume. Questions arise as to forces at play and rock strength in the stability of the walls of VM. In this work we address the stability analysis of the walls of VM by considering the strength of the materials of the walls and the causes of landslides. Using finite element calculations and the limit analysis upper bound method, we explore the range of cohesion and friction angle values associated with realistic failure geometries, and compare predictions with the more classical Culmann's translational failure model. Our analysis is based both on synthetic, simplified slope profiles, and on the real shape of the walls of VM taken from the MOLA topographic data. Validation of the calibrated cohesion and friction angle values is performed by comparing the computed unstable cross sectional areas with the observed pre- and post-failure profiles, the estimated failure surface geometry and ridge crest retreat. This offers a link between rock mass properties, slope geometry and volume of the observed failure, represented in dimensionless charts. The role of groundwater flow and seismic action on the decrease of slope stability is also estimated. Pseudo-static seismic analyses provide another set of dimensionless charts and show that low seismicity events induced by meteoroid impacts, consistent with the size of craters, could be a cause for some of the observed landslides, if poor rock properties for VM are assumed. Analyses suggest that rock mass properties are more similar to their earth equivalents with respect to what has been previously supposed. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.

Crosta, G., Utili, S., DE BLASIO, F., Castellanza, R. (2014). Reassessing rock mass properties and slope instability triggering conditions in Valles Marineris, Mars. EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS, 388, 329-342 [10.1016/j.epsl.2013.11.053].

Reassessing rock mass properties and slope instability triggering conditions in Valles Marineris, Mars

CROSTA, GIOVANNI;DE BLASIO, FABIO VITTORIO;CASTELLANZA, RICCARDO PIETRO
2014

Abstract

The rock walls of the Valles Marineris valleys (VM) in the equatorial area of Mars exhibit several gravitational failures which resulted in a series of large landslides up to several hundred cubic kilometers in volume. Questions arise as to forces at play and rock strength in the stability of the walls of VM. In this work we address the stability analysis of the walls of VM by considering the strength of the materials of the walls and the causes of landslides. Using finite element calculations and the limit analysis upper bound method, we explore the range of cohesion and friction angle values associated with realistic failure geometries, and compare predictions with the more classical Culmann's translational failure model. Our analysis is based both on synthetic, simplified slope profiles, and on the real shape of the walls of VM taken from the MOLA topographic data. Validation of the calibrated cohesion and friction angle values is performed by comparing the computed unstable cross sectional areas with the observed pre- and post-failure profiles, the estimated failure surface geometry and ridge crest retreat. This offers a link between rock mass properties, slope geometry and volume of the observed failure, represented in dimensionless charts. The role of groundwater flow and seismic action on the decrease of slope stability is also estimated. Pseudo-static seismic analyses provide another set of dimensionless charts and show that low seismicity events induced by meteoroid impacts, consistent with the size of craters, could be a cause for some of the observed landslides, if poor rock properties for VM are assumed. Analyses suggest that rock mass properties are more similar to their earth equivalents with respect to what has been previously supposed. © 2013 Elsevier B.V.
Articolo in rivista - Articolo scientifico
Mars, landslide, environmental condition, rock strength, slope stability, numerical modelling, limit analysis
English
2014
388
329
342
none
Crosta, G., Utili, S., DE BLASIO, F., Castellanza, R. (2014). Reassessing rock mass properties and slope instability triggering conditions in Valles Marineris, Mars. EARTH AND PLANETARY SCIENCE LETTERS, 388, 329-342 [10.1016/j.epsl.2013.11.053].
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10281/53053
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