This study investigates how subsurface flowpaths are altered by forest roads and how these changes influence shallow landsliding susceptibility in steep, forested landscape. A simple conceptual model of the effect of forest roads on hillslope subsurface flow is developed. The model is incorporated into a hydro-geomechanical, threshold-based model for slope instability. In the model, the occurrence of shallow landsliding is evaluated in terms of drainage areas, ground slope and soil properties (i.e., hydraulic conductivity, bulk density, and friction angle). Model results allow to quantify the influence of roads on shallow landsliding hazard across a landscape and to generate hypotheses about the broader geomorphic effect of roads. Modelling results are compared with field data collected in a number of monitored sites located in north-eastern Italy, where accurate LIDAR data are available to represent both hillslope topography and road geometry. Observed landslide patterns are broadly consistent with model estimates, a finding that underscores the utility of this simple approach for predicting the geomorphic effects of forest roads constructed on steep slopes. The approach used in this study may be useful for defining criteria for road design that reduce the effects of roads on geomorphic processes

Impact of forest roads on subsurface flowpaths and shallow landsliding

BORGA, MARCO;TAROLLI, PAOLO;DALLA FONTANA, GIANCARLO;CAZORZI, FEDERICO
2007

Abstract

This study investigates how subsurface flowpaths are altered by forest roads and how these changes influence shallow landsliding susceptibility in steep, forested landscape. A simple conceptual model of the effect of forest roads on hillslope subsurface flow is developed. The model is incorporated into a hydro-geomechanical, threshold-based model for slope instability. In the model, the occurrence of shallow landsliding is evaluated in terms of drainage areas, ground slope and soil properties (i.e., hydraulic conductivity, bulk density, and friction angle). Model results allow to quantify the influence of roads on shallow landsliding hazard across a landscape and to generate hypotheses about the broader geomorphic effect of roads. Modelling results are compared with field data collected in a number of monitored sites located in north-eastern Italy, where accurate LIDAR data are available to represent both hillslope topography and road geometry. Observed landslide patterns are broadly consistent with model estimates, a finding that underscores the utility of this simple approach for predicting the geomorphic effects of forest roads constructed on steep slopes. The approach used in this study may be useful for defining criteria for road design that reduce the effects of roads on geomorphic processes
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11577/1783930
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