Engineers Australia

Real-time monitoring and wireless data transmission to predict rain-induced landslides in critical slopes

Chaminda Gallage

This technical evening is a presentation of the study/paper that was awarded the Australian Geomechanics (AG) Best Paper Award in 2018

Real-time landslide monitoring is an effective technique to minimise landslide risks, especially in circumstances where the potential for structural countermeasures is limited. Rainfall infiltration is considered as one of the most significant factors triggering slope instability. Hence real-time monitoring of parameters: rainfall, volumetric water content and surface deformations/displacements in the soil, enable the early detection of landslides, thus reducing the adverse impacts of landslides.

This presentation details a study that involved low cost and simple to install miniature ground inclinometers equipped with MEMS (Micro Electro Mechanical Systems) tilt sensors, volumetric water content sensors, temperature sensors, a rain gauge and a wireless data transmission unit (DTU) for the prior identification of possible slope failure. The DTU receives data from sensor units via radio signal transmission at a higher data acquisition frequency and automatically transmits them via the mobile network to an internet server, and updates in an online web interface for the determination of slope instability. The monitoring programme in operation for more than two years in the Lake Baroon Catchment, Maleny plateau, Australia; and accurately captured both creep movement of the slope with wetting and drying cycles and mass movements triggered by rainfall. Analysis of surface deformation and rainfall data produced by the real-time monitoring system were validated using published study outcomes, and thus a combination of rainfall data, I-D threshold equations and ground tilting rate were identified as representing a more suitable measure to detect possible slope failure in advance.

About the speaker

Photo of Chaminda Gallage

Chaminda GallageSchool of Civil Engineering & Built Environment Science and Engineering Faculty Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

Dr Chaminda Gallage is a senior lecture in Geotechnical Engineering at Queensland University of Technology (QUT). Dr Gallage received his BSc (Eng) degree (1st Class Honours) from the University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka; MEng and PhD degrees in Geotechnical Engineering from the University of Tokyo, Japan. He worked as a Post-doctoral research fellow at Monash University for two years before joining QUT in 2009. Within the board field of Geotechnical engineering research, he has focused on Unsaturated soil mechanics, rain-induced slope instability, pavement technology, transport geotechnic, and geotechnical instrumentation. In the last 10 years, Dr Gallage has published over 85 refereed journal and conference papers and supervised 15 Higher Degree research students (PhD/MEng) to completion. Currently, he is supervising 11 PhD students. Dr Gallage has received about $1.1M research funding from Australian research council and industry research partners. He is the QUT lead investigator in ARC Industrial Transformation Research Hub led by Monash University (IH180100010). Under this research hub, Dr Gallage is leading “Use of smart geosynthetics for long-lasting and resilient pavements” project which received $515k cash over 5 years from both ARC and industry partners. Further, he is leading a number of industry research projects with ARRB, TMR and SEQWater. He has developed very strong research collaboration with national/international universities and industry partners.

Engineers Australia members participating in AGS technical sessions can record attendance on their personal CPD logs. Members should refer to Engineers Australia CPD policy for details on CPD types, requirements and auditing guidelines.