Paolo Simonini,
Paolo Carrubba,
Simonetta Cola,
Marco Favaretti,
Giampaolo Cortellazzo,
Fabio Gabrieli,
Francesca Ceccato,
Lorenzo Brezzi,
Francine Tchamaleu Pangop,
Antonio Pol,
Veronica Girardi,
Paolo Pavanello,

Research areas:

Stability analysis of slopes, river banks and dams
The research aims to study the factors inducing instability as well as the methods for identifying and modelling instability of natural slopes, earth dams and riverbanks. In this context different types of slope instability (slow landslides, flow-like landslides, rockfalls, etc.) as well as internal erosion of levees and earth dams are examined. The research is carried out both with the study and the monitoring of real structures and the numerical and physical modelling in small scale of the same structures.

Advanced monitoring systems
The research is finalized to develop innovative technologies for the monitoring of geotechnical structures. The main efforts are concentrated on the use of sensors based on optical fibre technologies (FBG, BDOF, etc.) for the continuous monitoring of piles, anchorages, river embankments, landslides, etc.). Another sector in developing is the use of digital stereo photogrammetry per the monitoring of surficial displacement of unstable slopes.

Numerical modelling in geotechnics
The research concerns the understanding of geotechnical problems and the stability analysis of earth works through numerical analysis with finite element methods employing large displacements (MPM and SPH) and distinct element method (DEM). In this context, we are collaborating on the advancement of calculation methods with the development of algorithms capable of simulating multi-phase interaction and rheological laws to characterize the behavior of the soil.

Geotechnical aspects related to the use of geothermal energy
The research is carried out in collaboration with the Geoscience department. The goals of this research are the study of the effects induced on the soils by a not-correct use of geothermal system at low enthalpy and the writing of a best practice guide for the design and the construction of geothermal systems in relation to the local geotechnical and geological conditions.

Geotechnical characterization of and analysis of geotechnical problems to safeguard the city of Venice and the surrounding lagoon
The historic city of Venice continues to preserve a rather precarious equilibrium with the surrounding lagoon, although the margin of security is being eroded at an ever-increasing rate. The research is focused on the geotechnical characterization of soil and on the numerical modelling of various problems, the most recent being the protection of the San Marco Island from recurrent flooding and the measurement of soil compressibility with large size load tests.

Design and construction of a compacted clay liner in cover system of a municipal solid waste landfill using nonstandard procedures
Design and construction of a mineral barrier layer involve many experimental and technological aspects. Comparing hydraulic conductivity tests carried out in situ and in the laboratory, it turns out that in situ testing provided more realistic permeability values than laboratory ones and demonstrated that the actual construction procedure used was effective to obtain the design targets.

Dynamic friction and the seismic performance of geosynthetic interfaces
This study focuses on the evaluation of dynamic interface shear strength between geosynthetics, using the results of both inclined plane tests and shaking table tests; this latter test also provided a means to analyze interface behavior under the conditions of real seismic records.

Residual Strength Reactivation
A landslide undergoing large displacements along an existing slip surface reduces the soil strength up to minimum value known as residual strength. Some recent studies have shown that this residual strength can evolve over time. Besides the cases of physical and chemical interactions with the environment, the displacement rate and the creep may influence the strength evolution in both quiescent and reactivated conditions. Therefore, the occurrence of a transient peak strength at reactivation may have effect in the landslide stability because of the elapsed time during quiescence and the speed with which the movement reactivates.

Keywords: Slope Stability, Earth constructions, Foundations, Numerical modelling, Venice safeguard, Geothermics, Residual strength reactivation, Geosynthetic interface strength