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Engineering Geology 55 (2000) 133147

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A critical review of landslide monitoring experiences


Maceo-Giovanni Angeli a, Alessandro Pasuto b, *, Sandro Silvano b
a National Research Council I.R.P.I. Institute, via Madonna Alta, 126-06128 Perugia, Italy
b National Research Council I.R.P.I. Institute, C.so Stati Uniti, 4-35127 Padova, Italy

Abstract
Over the past few years, the monitoring of natural phenomena has acquired great importance for the scientific
community. It aims to understand the mechanisms of disruptive processes, define adequate prevention measures for
the mitigation of their effects and reduce the loss of human lives and assets. In order to detect the stability conditions
of slopes belonging to different geological and environmental contexts, geotechnical investigations have been carried
out since 1982. The various types of landslides to be investigated, and the diverse socio-economic contexts involved,
have shown the need for constant surveillance, using the most up-to-date technology available. For this purpose,
automatic recording systems connected to different sensors have been installed, (and also serve civil defence purposes).
During this research activity, several problems arose, and several solutions had to be found. In this paper, some of
the main problems concerning the installation and management of monitoring equipment used for the study of three
landslides will be discussed. 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Instrumentation; Italy; Landslides; Warning system

1. Introduction
Hydrogeological disarrangement is one of the
most destructive natural events striking civilian
populations, urban settlements and infrastructures
world-wide every year, causing thousands of casualties and serious damage.
The monitoring of natural phenomena has
acquired great importance for the scientific community since the use of adequate monitoring systems is a powerful tool for understanding
kinematic aspects of mass movements and permits
their correct analysis and interpretation; in addition, it is an essential aid in identifying and checking alarm situations.
* Corresponding author. Tel.: +39-49-829-5800;
fax: +39-49-829-5827.
E-mail address: alessandro.pasuto@irpi.pd.cnr.it (A.Pasuto)

This is achieved by means of monitoring kinematic, hydrological and climatic parameters in


order to:
$ identify movements before important morphological changes at the surface have taken place;
$ define the geometry of the moving mass with
precision;
$ quantify the principal kinematic parameters
(velocity, acceleration, etc.) and their possible
correlation with hydrological and climatic
characteristics;
$ carry out constant surveillance for events that
put inhabited areas at risk; and
$ propose reasonable plans to help people in
risk areas.
Landslides show a great variability not only
from the typological but also from the kinematic
and geometrical standpoints. Each landslide is
therefore characterised by the way it has devel-

0013-7952/00/$ - see front matter 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
PII: S0 0 1 3 -7 9 5 2 ( 9 9 ) 0 0 12 2 - 2

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oped, and this necessarily determines the kind of


sensors that should be set up, as well as the number
and location of measurement points, the sampling
frequency of parameters, etc. As a consequence,
the standardisation of intervention methods and
of the sensors that should be used is a rather
difficult task.
In order to obtain relevant results, a monitoring
system should be chosen not as a product of
various technologies but after the preliminary
analysis of a phenomenon by means of adequate
consideration of the data. Similarly, a set of sensors
placed haphazardly inside and around a landslide
body will produce a series of measurements that
are neither easy to interpret nor easy to compare.
This may also be due to problems arising in the
sensors installment and functioning and also in
data collection.
In this paper, some of the problems involved in
the installation and running of different monitoring
systems employed in the study of three landslides,
with different aims in view (civil defence, research,
remedial measures), will be discussed.

2. Tessina landslide
In the autumn of 1960, after a period of intense
precipitation, a landslide, characterised by a source
area in constant expansion affected by a complex
(rotational slideearth flow) slide movement with
a slip surface approximately 2030 m deep, was
activated in the province of Belluno (northeastern Italy).
The material from this area, which is intensely
fractured and dismembered, was channelised along
the Tessina valley, where it was progressively
remoulded with an increase of water content. Thus,
it underwent increasing fluidification, giving rise
to small earth flows that converged into the main
flow body.
The mass movement involved about two million
cubic metres of material, and was responsible for
endangering the villages of Funes and Lamosano
(Angeli et al., 1994; Pasuto and Silvano, 1995).
Further landslides occurred at the site in 1962,
1963, 1973, 1987, 1988, and 1989 after long-term
rainfall.

These events caused the filling of the Tessina


valley with material ranging from 30 to 50 m in
thickness, seriously endangering the village of
Funes, which is situated on a steep ridge originally
quite high above the river bed, but now almost
level with the mudflow.
In April 1992, after periods of rather heavy
rainfall and snowmelt, a collapse on the left-hand
slope of the torrent Tessina occurred, involving
approximately one million cubic metres of
material.
The toe of the flow reached the village of Funes
in just 5 days, moving at an approximate velocity
of 10 m/h (the mass was about 5 m wide and 1 m
thick), whereas the main slide, more than 100 m
wide, moved at a velocity of about 15 m/day.
Flow movement continued with varying intensity until July 1992, when it almost reached the
outskirts of Lamosano after having overrun the
earlier flows; then, the houses of Funes and
Lamosano were evacuated.
Up to now, the landslide has developed between
the altitudes of 1220 and 625 m a.s.l., with a total
longitudinal extension of almost 3 km and a maximum width of about 500 m (Fig. 1).
From a geological standpoint, the event has
affected a flysch formation (Middle Eocene), made
up of rhythmic alternations of low-permeability
marly-clayey and calcarenite strata with a thickness
of 10001200 m. In some parts, this formation is
covered with Quaternary deposits mainly consisting of vast scree slopes and Wurm morainic
deposits from the glaciers of the River Piave valley
and from other small local glaciers.
From a morphological point of view, it was
possible to distinguish a flat upper accumulation
area, and a lower accumulation area consisting of
the main flow over two kilometres long, with a
steep narrow discharge channel connecting these
two areas.
In the upper landslide sector, the main morphological element is a large perimetral scarp, over
20 m high, bordering the most active area. The
mobilised material is collected in an almost flat
area, located at the scarps base, where its primary
characteristics are progressively lost as it turns into
a rather viscous mud, owing to water absorption.
Once transformed, the material flows through a

M.-G. Angeli et al. / Engineering Geology 55 (2000) 133147

135

Fig. 1. Index map, location of the instrumentation and schematic cross-section of the Tessina landslide. Legend: (1) main flow body;
(2) roto-translational slide; (3) scree slope; (4) highly folded and fractured flysch; (5) flysch formation; (6) calcareous and marlycalcareous formations.

narrow and steep discharge channel where the


thick sandstone layers making up the flysch formation crop out; these rocks form a sort of retaining
structure for the overlying material.

The lowest landslide sector corresponds to the


main accumulation area, which stretches from the
toe of the discharge channel as far as Lamosano,
passing by the hamlet of Funes.

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Several geotechnical tests have been carried out


on both the original material cropping out on the
main scarp and the remoulded material making
up the main landslide flow. All the materials tested
fall within the field of medium-high plasticity
inorganic clays. The liquid limit (w ) ranges
l
between 38.5 and 52.5%, whereas the plasticity
index (PI ) is 16.224.7%. Direct shear tests have
provided values of the drained residual friction
angle, w, ranging between 19.9 and 26.1.
r
By means of field observations and investigations and by analysing the data acquired over the
past few years, it was possible to develop a fairly
reliable landslide evolution model. In practice, the
material involved in the slides affecting the main
scarp or the margin of the upper accumulation
area gives rise to new flows that overlap those
already stabilised. Owing to an undrained loading
effect, the latter are partially remobilised over
thicknesses of 12 m. This is facilitated during
periods of intense precipitations or snowmelt,
when the piezometric rise inside the earth flow
body comes close to the topographic surface. In
these conditions, a sudden overload noticeably
reduces the factor of safety.
Considering this high-risk situation, an alarm
and monitoring system has been planned with the
main purpose of alerting the population in case of
imminent danger and, secondarily, in order to
acquire useful data for understanding the dynamic
pattern of the phenomenon and for the definition
of possible evolution scenarios.
2.1. Instrumentation
Following the 1992 events, a programme of
remedial interventions was started, i.e. building of
retaining walls and installation of a monitoring
and alarm system to guarantee the safety of the
population ( Fig. 1) (Angeli et al., 1996b).
In particular, two multiple-base wire-extensometer units, measuring 280 and 390 m, were installed
in the slide upper section in order to provide a
constant check of the movement occurring on the
landslide surface. These units consisted of a series
of 12 measuring pulleys fitted with an appropriate
scaler system capable of detecting movements as
small as a centimetre.

On the upper section of the slide, an automatic


topographic system for measuring surface movement was installed. This consists of a motorised
Wild TM3000V theodolite with EDM Wild
Distomat Di2002. More than 30 targets, made by
retroreflectors (reflecting prisms), are placed either
within or outside the landslide body.
The telescope body has an integrating focusing
drive, a CCD camera, an eccentrically placed wideangle lens, and a coaxial target light. The target
light generates an invisible infra-red beam of light.
This can be pointed to a retroreflecting target that
reflects incident light back to its source, i.e. it acts
as if it was an active luminous target. The CCD
camera receives the optical beam and projects the
visual field to a video monitor. Image processing
allows the theodolite system to identify targets
automatically and measure the angle and distance
to each target. For target recognition, the CCD
camera is controlled to indicate either the measuring or the wide-angle field of view to the target.
The theodolite transmits the video signal via the
cameras mains-supply unit to the computer, which
processes the data and calculates the targets displacements. The monitoring of each benchmark
position is carried out at 13 h intervals during
emergency periods, whereas in normal times, the
measurement interval is 6 h.
In order to detect the passage of flow fronts of
a certain thickness that are potentially hazardous
for the hamlets of Funes and Lamosano, two
control units, one consisting of three directional
bars and an ultrasonic echometer, the other of two
directional bars and an echometer, were installed
on the mudflow some 100 m uphill of the villages.
Three videocameras were also installed to
record and monitor the slide movement in the
most critical areas. Two of these cameras were
connected to two SVHS videorecorders, recording
for 2 s every 3 min, positioned by the hamlets of
Funes and Lamosano. The third camera, in proximity to the main scarp, sent images directly to a
monitor installed at the Lamosano Town Hall,
where personnel with surveillance duties constantly
checked the evolution of the phenomenon.
Three peripheral stations, fed by photovoltaic
panels and buffer batteries, acquired and preelaborated the data coming from all sensors, check-

M.-G. Angeli et al. / Engineering Geology 55 (2000) 133147

137

Fig. 2. Extensometric devices installed on the Tessina landslide.

Fig. 3. Layout of the extensometric device. Legend: (1) fine


angular-displacement transducer; (2) main angular-displacement transducer; (3) 10-to-1 movement scaler; (4) wire; (5)
pulley.

ing their proper functioning at the same time. Data


acquisition by the sensors took place every 10 min,
and the data were immediately downloaded, via
radio signals, onto a central monitoring station,
located inside the Town Hall of Lamosano in order
to define possible danger situations.

2.1.1. Wire extensometers


As regards wire extensometers in the Tessina
landslide, the need to carry out the measurement
of separate, but interrelated, movements and their
arrangement required the planning of a highly
individual system composed of two anchor points.
One of these was installed in the central part of
the moving zone, and the other in the stable zone,
with the function of keeping cable tension constant. Then, 12 measuring apparatuses (Figs. 2
and 3), consisting of a pulley fitted with an appropriate scaler system capable of detecting movements as small as a centimetre, were positioned
along the cable and connected by wire to a peripheral station able to transmit the data via radio
to the central monitoring station at Lamosano.
The anchorage points were composed of a cage
of about 212 m, containing a series of springs
together with a delay mechanism permitting a
cable lengthening of some 10 m, with constant
cable tension (Fig. 4).
Bearing in mind the high level of risk for the
local population and the dimension of the area
being checked, this deformation measurement
system was connected to a topographic measurement system with automatic surveying to check

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M.-G. Angeli et al. / Engineering Geology 55 (2000) 133147

Fig. 4. Device used to keep the wire in constant tension.

and verify the movements of some benchmarks


and all the extensometric measurement equipment.
This linkage between the two systems has demonstrated the advantage of continuous surveillance
of the evolution of the source area, even in adverse
climatic conditions, e.g. intense rainfall, fog and

snow, during which topographic measurement


cannot be carried out.
However, the intensity of the movement under
study has created notable difficulties for the management of the entire measuring apparatus.
Maintaining the steel wire in constant tension by

Fig. 5. Example of correlation between rainfall and displacement recorded by an extensometric device during the 1993 critical phase.

M.-G. Angeli et al. / Engineering Geology 55 (2000) 133147

139

means of the apparatus shown in Fig. 4 was practicable up to a stretch limit of some tens of metres,
beyond which complete resetting of the extensometer devices was necessary.
Moreover, considering that each extensometric
apparatus placed within the body of the slide was
connected to a data logger with an electric cable
for data transmission, intense movements have
often broken the cable, thus necessitating the
reconnection of the cables, sometimes under
difficult conditions.
Other problems arose from the tilting of measuring equipment in the course of slide movements,
leading to misalignment between it and the wire.
Also, in these cases, the original equipment position needed to be reset to ensure its correct
functioning.
Despite all this, the system has allowed continual checking of the movements and the forecast
of several critical situations that have led to the
collapse of substantial sections of the slope
(Fig. 5).
2.1.2. Directional bar
This is a simple instrument consisting of a bar
that, when suspended from a cable running
through a channel, records the passing of
mud/debris flows and avalanches ( Fig. 6). The
working principle is based upon the tractional and
rising effect of the moving mass on the bars.
Groups of two and three bars were installed
upstream of Lamosano and Funes, respectively,
working as alarm systems (Fig. 1). They were
calibrated so as to set off an alarm signal by the
closure of a mercury switch only if they were tilted
more than 20 from the vertical position for more
than 20 s. This threshold was introduced as a way
of reducing false alarms usually due to the effects
of frequent gusts of wind for which this valley is
renowned.
The entire system was connected to
measuring/checking stations, which sent the various alarm signals to an operative centre.
In fact, the installation of several directional
bars, placed at reasonable intervals from one
another, allowed registration of both the mud flow
and its velocity so that the varying risk levels of
the area could be detected. An ultrasonic echo-

Fig. 6. Directional bar suspended from a cable running through


the Tessina Valley.

meter was added to each group of bars, which


constantly measured the altitude of the flow surface, to confirm and back-up the alarm signal from
the directional bars.
Thanks to the simplicity of the apparatus construction, no particular operational problem
occurred. In addition, the possibility of false alarm
was further reduced due to checks by means of
specifically developed software, set up to record
only the passage of mud flow deeper than 34 m
and with a velocity of at least several metres per
minute, such as the present situation of danger for
the inhabited areas.
Notwithstanding this, false alarms took place
on two occasions, due, on one occasion, to exceptionally intense and persistent winds that kept a

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Fig. 7. Giau Pass landslide: location of boreholes and evolution scheme of the slope (reference to cross-section CC).

bar tilted for more than 20 s, and, on another


occasion, to the passage of a fallen tree carried by
the flow, whose branches reached and displaced a
bar. However, in both cases, the remote control
of data produced by the echometer permitted
immediate rectification.
Maintenance and checking of the bars functioning caused considerable difficulties because they
were hanging from a cable some hundred metres
in length, positioned transversally over a valley.
Retrieval and repositioning of the instrumentation
required delicate and laborious manoeuvres owing
to the inaccessibility of the slope.

3. Giau Pass landslide


A landslide of some 500 000 m3 made up of
morainic material and located in the Dolomites
(near the Giau Pass, about 30 km from Cortina

dAmpezzo) has been monitored since the early


1980s.
On 25 April 1988, the landslide suddenly collapsed, and its evolution was automatically
recorded ( Fig. 7).
From a geological viewpoint, the layers cropping out in the area surrounding the landslide
belong to the Werfen Formation (Scythian). This
formation is composed of a well-bedded, reddish,
marly limestone, alternated with marls and sandstones. These beds dip upstream with an average
slope angle of about 30. The overlying moraine
deposits, which form the landslide body, are composed of a fine silty-sandy matrix, including gravel,
pebbles and blocks of dolomitic limestone from
the uphill dolomite peaks. Sandy and clay lenses
are also present.
Since the first investigation, the landslide has
appeared to be a complex slide (Skempton and
Hutchinson, 1969), characterised by a large graben

M.-G. Angeli et al. / Engineering Geology 55 (2000) 133147

area in the upper part of the slope and by a


translation of the main mass occurring on an
almost sub-horizontal slip surface. Late in 1981,
the main scarp, located at the back of the graben,
had already reached a greater extent: 6 m in height
and 250300 m in length. Further enlargements of
the main scarp occurred in subsequent years, until
the complete slope collapsed, during which the
scarp reached a height of 20 m, and the landslide
body underwent a translative displacement of the
same intensity, before stopping against the opposite slope.
The maximum thickness of the landslide body
was about 50 m, whereas its maximum length was
150200 m. The slip surface was identified as being
located at the contact surface between the moraine
deposits and the Werfen marl bedrock, at least as
regards its rectilinear extent. Its curvilinear extent
is completely contained within the moraine deposits (Fig. 7).
Hydrogeological and geotechnical investigations have been carried out since 1982.
Laboratory tests were carried out on the finer
matrix of soil samples collected either from boreholes or directly along some parts of the slip
surface, which was formed after the 1988 collapse.
The matrix of most of the soil samples (mainly
constituted by coarse-grained moraine materials)
taken from the slip surface was classified as a clay
of intermediate plasticity (with a PI of 15.3
17.4%). Residual shear strength tests carried out
on the finer matrix material (passing through the
B40 sieve) gave w values ranging between 15
r
and 17.

3.1. Instrumentation and data obtained


Following the first investigations, the slope was
gradually equipped with standard and automatic
instrumentation: three Casagrande piezometric
cells, two electric pressure transducers, two deepseated steel wire extensometers, four inclinometric
tubes, a rainfall gauge, a snow gauge and an air
thermometer. A summary of standard hydrological
and kinematic data collected over 7 years on the
slope examined is shown in Fig. 8. The correlations
between precipitation depth, piezometric eleva-

141

Fig. 8. Correlation between rainfall, groundwater level and


inclinometric displacements over 7 years of recording. The landslide collapsed on 24 April 1988.

tions and inclinometric displacements are quite


evident.
The automatic instrumentation installed in the
landslide body, in particular the electric pressure
transducer and a steel wire extensometer
(Corominas et al., 1999), with a sample interval
of 2 h, allowed a detailed recording of two critical
events concerning stability (Angeli et al., 1990a).
Movements of a few centimetres were measured
in April 1987, along with piezometric variations
of about 1.5 m, whilst in the same month of the
following year, the slope collapsed, with a displacement of more than 20 m but with a rise in piezometric level of only 0.5 m ( Fig. 9).

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M.-G. Angeli et al. / Engineering Geology 55 (2000) 133147

Fig. 9. Comparison of data recorded during two critical hydrological events in 1987 and 1988.

In both cases, the data established that the


beginning of movement happened before the
recorded piezometric peak and in particular that
it coincided with the flexure point of the piezometric rise curve, rather than with its maximum value.
This behaviour was attributed to the large
volume that piezometric apparatuses used (open
standpipe piezometers). The electric pressure transducers were placed inside a 80 mm diameter pipe,
and this fact meant that a significant time-lag
occurred between the levels of the GWT inside
and outside the tube.
3.1.1. Piezometers
In order to correct the observed time-lag and a
possible cut-off of the maximum peaks, a

reprocessing of piezometric data was therefore


taken into account. Considering the solution of
the differential equations of water flow ( Hvorslev,
1951) inside the piezometric apparatuses, a recalculation of piezometric data was obtained.
The fundamental input data considered were:
diameter and length of the filter, diameter of the
piezometer and permeability of the ground.
The application of a computer routine has thus
permitted recalculation of the new curves relative
to the piezometric level variations. These new
piezometric elevation values show an opposite
trend to those recorded (Fig. 10).
The April 1988 situation (measured peak value:
27.82 m; calculated value: 19.7 m) was
assessed as being much more severe than the

M.-G. Angeli et al. / Engineering Geology 55 (2000) 133147

Fig. 10. Measured and calculated piezometric head during two


critical events (1987 and 1988).

previous situation occurring in 1987 (measured


peak value: 26.94 m; calculated value: 22.3 m)
(Fig. 9). The new calculated piezometric curves,
showing peaks preceding movement and much
higher than the values measured, fully explained
the occurrence and the collapse mechanism.

4. Sirolo landslide
The village of Sirolo, located on top of a steep
marly cliff along the Adriatic sea, several kilometres south of the harbour of Ancona (Central
Italy), is widely affected by instability phenomena
(rock falls, toppling of rock pillars, slides) (Angeli
et al., 1990b, 1991, 1996a; Angeli and Pontoni,
1995). The area is highly tectonised and subject to
recurrent high-intensity earthquakes. As a conse-

143

quence, there has been a significant reduction in


the number of buildings in the old part of the
village.
The stratigraphic sequence of the cliff is composed of thick or massive layers of marls and
calcareous marls. In some places, thin layers of
clay are present.
Structurally, the area is characterised by a
monocline dipping SE from 20 to 30, which is
affected by several systems of faults and joints,
generally subvertical. Steep escarpments partly surround the monocline above.
Under these conditions, large blocks of rock,
set free by the systems of joints and by the presence
of the above escarpments, tend to slide on the
bedding planes (Figs. 11 and 12).
Since 1990, a number of horizontal and vertical
boreholes have been drilled and equipped with
geotechnical instrumentation. In particular, BHH2
and BHH3 boreholes were drilled horizontally, at
a slightly different elevation, in order to install
several fibre-glass extensometric bars of different
lengths (20, 40, 60, 80 m). The direction of the
boreholes and the different lengths of the extensometric bars were established in order to check the
extent to which the differential movements in the
jointed rock mass could take place. They reached
a stable zone well below the inhabited area.
This type of extensometer is generally used in
civil engineering for monitoring retaining structures such as bulkheads, large supporting walls or
inner tunnels for controlling the stability of rock
walls. It has been successfully used for the first
time for monitoring a landslide using considerably
long bars.
In the case of Sirolo, rectangular-section
(35 mm) bars were installed and anchored at
different depths in order to identify the precise
location of the slip surface. The bars are protected
by rigid sheaths, with their upper extremity protruding from the ground surface, on which a
manual centesimal comparator is placed. The
manual comparator may be substituted by a linear
displacement transducer, which, when connected
to a suitable logger, allows continuous movement
recording.
Concomitant with the installation of extensome-

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M.-G. Angeli et al. / Engineering Geology 55 (2000) 133147

Fig. 11. Map of the Sirolo landslide area showing the location of the equipped boreholes and the control works.

tric bars, a rain gauge and several electric transducers of pressure and displacement were connected
to automatic data loggers. High-precision geodetic
surveys were also carried out.
Observation of all the data collected has permitted a first hypothesis on the main landslide mechanism. In particular, a huge block-type slide
occurring on a subhorizontal plane was identified.
Fluctuation of the groundwater table above a fixed
threshold was identified as being responsible for
periodic landslide reactivations.
Remedial measures consisted of a series of very
long pre-stressed steel anchors and subhorizontal
tubular drains.

Each head of the anchor is connected to the


others by steel-reinforced beams, running horizontally along different contour lines in the slope.
Moreover, horizontal tubular drains were
drilled at different locations along the slope
( Figs. 11 and 12). Sometimes, they reached a
length of 150 m. Often, they allowed the rapid
outlet of large quantities of water coming from
the opened cracks existing at the back of the
landslide body.
A sufficient number of critical hydrological situations recorded before and after the remedial
measures have revealed a significant reduction in
the piezometric peaks in the landslide body,

M.-G. Angeli et al. / Engineering Geology 55 (2000) 133147

145

Fig. 12. Schematic cross-section of the Sirolo landslide body: bedding planes dip 20 to 30 toward the observer.

accompanied by a cessation of movement


(Fig. 13).
A particularly innovative feature of this experience was the use of extensometric bars made of
fibre-glass, which proved especially useful for the
detection of very small movements. This equipment is, in fact, able to detect movements of the
order of hundredths of a millimetre and is thus
particularly useful for rock-slide applications. The
effectiveness of these apparatuses was also confirmed both by the long activity period (about
10 years) and by the accuracy of the measurements
obtained, thus guaranteeing the continuity and
reliability of the observations, which would not
have been possible with the equipment normally
used (inclinometers, wire extensometers).
Precision is required in its installation, and the
measurements themselves should be taken by
expert personnel. At present, checking is carried
out manually. The choice of a sufficiently accurate
automatic data logger for continuous data collection that also permits manual checking at the same
time is currently being examined.

5. Final remarks
From the three cases briefly illustrated, the wide
spectrum of situations in which even simple monitoring systems can be employed advantageously is
evident. Usually, the best possible results can only
be obtained if the position of the sensors is meaningful, and this can result only from a previous
in-depth understanding of the phenomena,
obtained through collection and analysis of all the
previous documentation. Geological conditions
must also be accurately investigated.
Another very important aspect is the choice of
parameters and frequency of sample data collection. It is indeed important to optimise data collection so that large amounts of poorly significant
data can be discarded.
In the case of alarm systems, it is very important
to avoid false alarms, to choose appropriately the
critical thresholds for the various parameters taken
into consideration, and possibly to use alternative
measures if such thresholds are exceeded.
Finally, it should be pointed out that the instru-

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M.-G. Angeli et al. / Engineering Geology 55 (2000) 133147

Fig. 13. Relationships between monthly rainfall, piezometric rise and landslide movement; piezometer BH1 is representative of the
landslide body, whereas piezometers BH8 and BH11 represent the piezometric behaviour of the stable area; BHH2 and BHH3 indicate
horizontal extensometric bars; A1, A2 and A3 refer to the three systems of anchors installed, and D1, D2 and D3 refer to the three
sets of tubular drains.

mentation used in the study of landslides is a


powerful tool of investigation, but in no case
should it be the aim of research. In this case, the
main objective (i.e. the knowledge, study, observation and management of landslides) would be
lost.

Acknowledgements
This paper is part of the CEC Environment
Programme
Project
NEWTECH
( ENVCT96-0248) New Technologies for Landslide
Hazard Assessment and Management in Europe.

M.-G. Angeli et al. / Engineering Geology 55 (2000) 133147

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