PHD Project

December 14, 2016

Coupled hydrogeophysical and geomechanical modelling of slope stability for improved early warning of landslides

Coupled hydrogeophysical and geomechanical modelling of slope stability for improved early warning of landslides

There is a growing interest in linking hydrogeological and geomechanical models to improve understanding of landslide failure processes, but progress has been limited by an inability to provide high spatial and temporal resolution input data on the physical properties of the subsurface (e.g. strength, composition) and changes associated with hydraulic processes (e.g. pore pressure, moisture content). It is our contention that major recent advances in geophysical and geotechnical monitoring can now provide timely information to update coupled hydro-geomechanical models – thereby enabling near-real-time estimates of slope factor of safety to aid forecasting of landslide events at the slope scale.

The aim of this work is therefore, for the first time, to develop an integrated approach to continuously update slope stability models in near-real-time, and to demonstrate this on active landslides. This will be achieved through integrating the delivery of information derived from geophysical, geotechnical and meteorological monitoring with hydro-geomechanical models. The objective will be to develop an approach that is relevant to moisture driven landslides in engineered and natural slopes – for use anywhere in the world where moisture driven landslide hazard is present. If successful this would represent a step-change in our ability to provide early warning landslide events.

The successful candidate will have access to a network of fully instrumented landslide observatories, and will have the opportunity to collaborate with international partners in landslide prone areas of Austria and Italy. In addition, specialist training will be provided in the areas of groundwater and slope stability modelling, landslide hazard assessment and geophysical monitoring.

Applicants should have strong numerical abilities and hold a minimum of a UK Honours Degree at 2:1 level or equivalent in subjects such as Earth Science, Physics, Engineering, Environmental Science, Natural Sciences.

For further details please contact Dr Jonathan Chambers ( or Prof Andy Binley (