Published in Engineering Geology, Vol. 279, 105856, 2020
Prediction of multi-hazard slope stability events requires an informed and judicious choice of the possible scenarios. An incorrect definition of landslide conditions in terms of expected failure volume, material behavior, or boundary conditions can lead to inaccurate predictions and, in turn, to wrong engineering and risk management decisions. Reduced-scale experiments carried out two years before the Vajont disaster were carried out with a material not representative of the actual rockslide behavior and failed in not considering the simultaneous failure of the whole landslide body. Based on these inappropriate assumptions, the physical models led to wrong estimates of the safety operational level for the Vajont reservoir. This work uses the Particle Finite Element Method (PFEM) to analyze the implications of the wrong hypotheses considered in the pre-event experiments, simulating numerically the Vajont disaster for different sliding volumes and material properties. The use of the PFEM for the accurate assessment of the consequences of landslides impinging in water reservoirs has been already validated in a companion paper. In this work, we demonstrate the capabilities of a robust and reliable numerical modeling approach for the simulation of different scenarios, assessing what could have been a safe operational reservoir level in the case of a landslide generated impulse wave. The three-dimensional analyses were run with a high mesh resolution and demonstrate the suitability and robustness of the PFEM model for large-scale landslide and multi-hazard events simulation.