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  Investigating the effects of hydromechanical properties on the collapsibility and instability of slopes with unsaturated volcanic soils

   Department of Civil Engineering

   Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Unsaturated volcanic soils could possess significant apparent cohesion and shear strength leading to stability of slopes at greater slope angles. However, as the degree of saturation in volcanic soils increases due to environmental changes, such as increased rainfall infiltration, and these are more likely to increase due to global warming, the apparent cohesion tends to disappear, thereby reduced shear strength and hence increased collapsibility and failure of slopes. Failed slopes are a cause for fatalities, unprecedented infrastructural damage (roads, railways, water and electricity), and subsequently huge economic losses. This research seeks to investigate soil-water characteristics, shear strength and collapsibility of the volcanic unsaturated soils, and uncover the implications of these hydromechanical properties on slope instability in the regions historically known for active volcanoes. Constitutive, physical and/or numerical modelling methods are envisaged to be utilised during this research.

Engineering (12) Geology (18)

Funding Notes

Eligibility: Successful candidate must have an MSc/MEng with a first class or second upper division in geotechnical engineering, civil engineering, geology, geo-environmental sciences, and related fields.

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