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Characterizing the groundwater flow regime in a landslide recharge area using stable isotopes: a case study of the Urbas landslide area in NW Slovenia
Mitja Janža, Luka Serianz, Katja Koren, 2022

Abstract: Slope stability strongly depends on the prevailing hydrological and hydrogeological conditions. The amount and intensity of precipitation and changing groundwater levels are important landslide triggering factors. Environmental tracers, including the chemical and stable isotope compositions of precipitation and groundwater, were used to gain insight into the groundwater dynamics of the Urbas landslide. The landslide is situated in a mountainous area with steep slopes and high precipitation amount and poses a high risk for the safety of the Koroška Bela settlement that lies downstream. The stable isotope analyses of oxygen-18 (18O) and deuterium (2H) in the precipitation and groundwater were used to estimate the groundwater mean residence time and the average altitude of the landslide recharge area. This information will help to plan and prioritize remedial landslide measures aiming to reduce the recharge of the landslide body and, thus, lower the risk of transformation of the sliding material into debris flow. The results of the chemical analysis of samples taken from springs and a piezometer show a Ca–HCO3 water type. This indicates low water–rock interaction in a landslide area composed of Upper Carboniferous and Permian clastic rocks and points to upper laying carbonate rocks and scree deposits as the main recharge area. Water samples for stable isotope analyses of δ18O and δ2H were collected from a rain gauge, springs, and a piezometer over a two-year period (2018–2020). The estimated mean recharge altitude of the groundwater at sampling points was from approximately 1700 to 1800 m a.s.l. with a mean residence time of 2–5 months.
Keywords: landslide, groundwater, stable isotopes, oxygen-18, deuterium, hydrogeology, recharge dynamic
DiRROS - Published: 16.03.2022; Views: 209; Downloads: 106
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