Submarine landslides, whose characteristics include large mass movements and long travel distances at very gentle slopes, have significant impacts and consequences on offshore and coastal facilities. This paper presents comparisons of the results of a series of centrifuge simulations of submarine landslide flows on a very gentle slope at different gravity levels, with numerical simulations of a similar setup to the centrifuge tests. The depth-averaged material point method (DAMPM) is specifically used in the numerical simulations to deal with large deformations (such as the long run-out of submarine landslide flows) without mesh distortion. The centrifuge scaling laws are investigated based on the results from both centrifuge and numerical simulations. This paper provides a better understanding of the scaling laws that need to be adopted for centrifuge experiments involving submarine landslide flows, as well as enhancing the knowledge on numerical simulations these flows through DAMPM.
The knowledge and further understanding of submarine landslides are essential to mitigate the consequences of their occurrence. One of the earliest literatures on submarine landslides is documented by Terzaghi (1956), who recognised them as spontaneous mass movements of short duration involving large quantities of material on both steep and gentle slopes. Although substantial progress has been made in the understanding of the geological process and physical mechanisms operating at different stages of a submarine landslide event (e.g. Vanneste et al., 2011), the knowledge in this particular field is still lacking. One way to understand the phenomena of submarine landslide flows is to be able to model the problem and correctly relate the results of the modelling to the actual situation. With centrifuge modelling, soil stresses by the self-weight are properly reproduced, and observations from small-scale models can be related to the full-scale prototype situation using appropriate scaling laws.