Composite landslide in the dynamic alpine conditions: a case study of Urbas landslide
The alpine environment is characterized by complex geology, high-energy terrain, deeply incised river valleys with high erosional potential, extreme weather conditions and dynamic geomorphic processes. Such settings provide favourable conditions for the formation of composite landslides rather than individual slope mass movement phenomena. As an example, we present the kinematics of the composite landslide Urbas in the North of Slovenia which developed in the complex geological and morphological settings characteristic of the alpine environment. The research combines several monitoring techniques and involves the integration of both surface and subsurface displacements measured in the landslide area. The results indicate that the composite sliding process consists of several simultaneous and interrelated types of movements occurring in different segments of the unstable mass that are governed by different mechanisms of displacements, such as rockfall, sliding and debris flow. The kinematic characteristics of a deep-seated landslide that formed in such conditions vary spatially, but is rather homogenuous vertically, indicating translational type of movement. Spatial kinematic heterogeneity is primarily related to the diverse terrain topography, reflecting in different displacement trends. Based on the revealed kinematic proprieties of the sliding material, the sediment discharge illustrates the sliding material balance which estimates the volume of the retaining material that represents the potential for slope mass movement events of larger scales.