A numerical model to predict landslide movements along pre-existing slip surfaces from rainfall data is presented. The model comprises: a transient seepage finite element analysis to compute the variations of pore water pressures due to rainfall; a limit equilibrium stability analysis to compute the factors of safety along the slip surface associated with transient pore pressure conditions; an empirical relationship between the factor of safety and the rate of displacement of the slide along the slip surface; an optimization algorithm for the calibration of analyses and relationships based on available monitoring data. The model is validated with reference to a well-monitored active slide in Central Italy, characterized by very slow movements occurring within a narrow band of weathered bedrock overlaid by a clayey silt colluvial cover. The model is conveniently divided and presented in two parts: a groundwater model and a kinematic model. In the first part, monthly recorded rainfall data are used as time-dependent flow boundary conditions of the transient seepage analysis, while piezometric levels are used to calibrate the analysis by minimizing the errors between monitoring data and computed pore pressures. In the second part, measured inclinometric movements are used to calibrate the empirical relationship between the rate of displacement along the slip surface and the factor of safety, whose variation with time is computed by a time-dependent stability analysis.
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