Landslide Noise

Science  01 Dec 1967:
Vol. 158, Issue 3805, pp. 1182-1184
DOI: 10.1126/science.158.3805.1182


Acoustical monitoring of real landslides has revealed the existence of subaudible noise activity prior to failure and has enabled prediction of the depth of the seat of sliding when conducted in boreholes beneath the surface. Recordings of noise generated in small slopes of moist sand, tilted to failure in laboratory tests, have been analyzed to determine the foci of discrete subaudible noise events. The noises emitted shortly before failure were plotted close to the true sliding surface observed after failure. The foci of earlier events lay either within the central portion of the sliding mass or in a region behind the failure surface. The head and toe zones were devoid of strong seismic activity.