Mechanical Models for Hazard and Risk Analysis of Structures in Creeping Landslides

Philipp W. Oberender, Dimitri V. Val, Alexander M. Puzrin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Inspired by John Burland’s outstanding work on stabilizing the Leaning Tower of Pisa, this paper proposes a novel approach that allows risk assessment for another historic tower - the Leaning Tower of St. Moritz. The leaning of the St Moritz Tower is caused by differential displacements of the permanent landslide in which it is embedded, making its risk assessment challenging due to difficulties in predicting displacements and loads in creeping slopes. This paper proposes a methodology for hazard assessment in terms of expected displacements and ultimate loads making use of two novel approaches: (i) observation guided constitutive modelling (where visco-elasticplastic models of the landslide are calibrated using observations) and (ii) assessment of landslide pressure via limit analysis. In order to complete the formulation for the assessment of risk, exemplary exposure models (for weather variables including the effect of climate change) and simple vulnerability functions are proposed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-59
Number of pages8
JournalGeotechnical Engineering
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2020


  • Creep
  • Landslide
  • Leaning tower
  • Risk analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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