Published in Int. J. Numer. Anal. Meth. Geomech., Vol. 40 (6), pp. 809-826, 2016
Landslide‐generated impulse waves may have catastrophic consequences. The physical phenomenon is difficult to model because of the uncertainties in the kinematics of the mobilised material and to the intrinsic complexity of the fluid–soil interaction. The particle finite element method (PFEM) is a numerical scheme that has successfully been applied to fluid–structure interaction problems. It uses a Lagrangian description to model the motion of nodes (particles) in both the fluid and the solid domains (the latter including soil/rock and structures). A mesh connecting the particles (nodes) is re‐generated at every time step, where the governing equations are solved. Various constitutive laws are used for the sliding mass, including rigid solid and the Newtonian and non‐Newtonian fluids. Several examples of application are presented, corresponding both to experimental tests and to actual full‐scale case studies. The results show that the PFEM can be a useful tool for analysing the risks associated with landslide phenomena, providing a good estimate to the potential hazards even for full‐scale events.