A modeling platform for landslide stability: A hydrological approach

Mohsen Emadi-Tafti, Behzad Ataie-Ashtiani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)
72 Downloads (Pure)


Landslide events are among natural hazards with many fatalities and financial losses. Studies demonstrate that natural factors such as rainfall and human activities such as deforestation are important causes of triggering a landslide. In this study, an integrated two-dimensional slope stability model, SSHV-2D, is developed that considers various aspects of hydrological effects and vegetation impacts on the stability of slopes. The rainfall infiltration and water uptake of roots change the water content of the unsaturated zone. The temporal and spatial distribution of water content is estimated in the hydrological unit of the developed model. The vegetation unit of the model considers interception loss due to the existence of canopies and trunks, soil reinforcement effect by roots, root water uptake, the impact of root on hydraulic conductivity, and the influence of vegetation weight on slope stability. Benchmark problems with and without vegetation are solved for the model verification. The analyses demonstrate that the consideration of matric suction in the unsaturated zone can increase the safety factor more than 90%. It is also observed that the existence of trees with high density on a slope can increase the factor of safety about 50% and prevent shallow landslides. The present model is a platform for further development of more comprehensive and elaborative slope stability models.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2146
Number of pages31
JournalWater (Switzerland)
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


  • Hydrology
  • Richard's equation
  • Slope stability
  • Vegetation
  • Water flow in unsaturated zone


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