The temperature within a landslide’s shear zone can change due to internal processes such as frictional heating and chemical reactions, which are particularly relevant in fast-runout landslides. Most commonly, however, temperature variations are the result of changes in boundary conditions, including heat transfer from the surface, groundwater flow, and, more broadly, alterations in soil-vegetation-atmosphere interaction. These changes occur over seasonal and longer-term timeframes that are especially relevant to slow-moving landslides and may be influenced by climatic changes. Among the hydro-mechanical properties of soils, particularly the clay-rich ones, the residual shear strength is found to depend on temperature significantly, in a way that is coupled with the better studied dependency on the rate of shearing, possibly related to changes in viscous flow in the shear zone. Within the current projects, we are looking for a candidate with a strong background in soil mechanics and constitutive modelling, who would incorporate novel experimental insights and field data into physically-based models to reproduce and predict landslide behaviours at the slope and catchment scales (thus enabling cross-scale modelling) under thermo-hydro-mechanical boundary conditions.

Apply to the project