The Vaiont landslide occurred in 1963 in northern Italy and has perplexed researchers ever since. Recently, however, new geological information and interpretations have led to an entirely new framework for understanding the event. We are now in a position to investigate the detailed controls on the occurrence of the landslide and to reliably assess the associated uncertainties. This project will utilise 2D and 3D stability analyses to establish the sensitivity of controlling parameters, the relative influences of groundwater and external reservoir levels (including the true Critical Pool level), and the effects of data resolution, on the calculated stability of the landslide. These results will enable the determination of the most likely overall slope conditions that gave rise to the failure. A further critical element of this project is to analyse the rainfall in terms of long-term records for the region in order to quantify the statistical significance of the rainfall during 1960-63 and, thus, estimate the magnitudes of groundwater responses within the mountain slope compared with likely long-term variations.
Applicants should ideally have an MSc in Engineering Geology or Applied Geomorphology or similar, otherwise it is essential to have an Upper Second or First Class Engineering BSc or BEng with a substantial geotechnics or modelling component.