TOTANI Ferdinando. 2024: Topographic seismic effects and avalanche hazard: A case study of Mount Siella (L'Aquila, Central Italy). Journal of Mountain Science, 21(2): 662-675. DOI: 10.1007/s11629-023-8379-9
Citation: TOTANI Ferdinando. 2024: Topographic seismic effects and avalanche hazard: A case study of Mount Siella (L'Aquila, Central Italy). Journal of Mountain Science, 21(2): 662-675. DOI: 10.1007/s11629-023-8379-9

Topographic seismic effects and avalanche hazard: A case study of Mount Siella (L'Aquila, Central Italy)

  • In mountainous areas, snow avalanches could be triggered by the shaking produced by earthquakes. The forces induced by the earthquake can cause an irregular increase of shear strength load down the slope, for the presence of complex surface and buried morphologies. Topographic irregularities generate maximum effects of waves amplification linked to wavelengths comparable to the horizontal dimension of the topographic feature. For this reason, the selected time-histories represent an appropriate input for the two-dimensional numerical response analyses when a dynamic phenomenon produce the resonant motion of a whole mountain. This represents an important earthquake-induced hazard in snow-covered mountain areas with high probability of seismic events. Some valleys are located in regions with scare ground motion data and investments on infrastructures are not always accompanied by adequate protection against earthquake-induced avalanches. The paper points out a simple deterministic approach for selecting a set of real accelerograms applied to a real case of Siella Mountain (Central Italy) where a large avalanche destroying a tourist facility of Rigopiano resort on 18 January 2017. The selected time histories were used as input for the two-dimensional numerical model of the subsoil to evaluate the topographic seismic amplification in ridge and compare it with the results of other authors. These methods suggest that morphology-related inertial effects should be considered as an overload action on snow layers when controlling multi-hazard studies and spatial planning.
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