Innovative protection solutions for landslides 

In a changing climate, infrastructure will be increasingly exposed to risk, and in particular, debris flows are a type of landslides involving the flow of sediment-water mixtures with a high destructive potential. Countermeasures need to be installed in order to reduce the risk. The aim of this PhD is to conceive and design innovative mitigation solutions to withstand extreme events.

PhD Candidate Hervé Vicari

PhD Candidate Hervé Vicari

To develop solutions, the dynamics of debris flows should be better understood. It is difficult to obtain useful field data, due to the randomness of the phenomenon and to the difficulty to place monitoring instruments. Physical modelling in laboratory scale is an alternative way to study debris flows. This also allows to check and control the boundary conditions and assess their influence. Furthermore, mitigation solutions, such as barriers and deflection structures can be placed to study their interaction with the flow and their effectiveness. Knowledge gained by performing small-scale experiments need to be applied at larger scales in the field to assess the scaling effects, which often introduce large uncertainties.

Innovative cost-effective protection solutions are of great importance for society and the outcome of Hervé Vicari’s PhD-thesis can be useful for planners, designers and entrepreneurs. It can also be of use in revising guidelines and policies related to landslide risk management.

The main supervisor is professor Vikas Thakur (NTNU).