Peat slope failure in Ireland

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Title: Peat slope failure in Ireland
Authors: Boylan, Noel
Jennings, Paul
Long, Michael (Michael M.)
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/3096
Date: Feb-2008
Abstract: Recent peat failures in Ireland in the autumn of 2003 at Pollatomish, County Mayo and Derrybrien, County Galway have focused attention on such events. However, peat failures are not a recent phenomenon with possible evidence of peat failures in Ireland having been identified as far back as the Early Bronze Age. This paper summarises the issues surrounding peat failures in Ireland that would be of interest to an engineer\engineering geologist assessing this geohazard. The distribution of peat throughout Ireland, its formation, and its typical characteristic properties are discussed. A review of historical failures shows that there is a relationship between run out distance and failure volume and that the majority of the failures are clustered at slope angles between 4º and 8º. It seems that the risk of fatalities from peat slides is relatively low. The likely casual factors attributed to peat failures are presented using examples of failure, including the recent failures at Pollatomish and Derrybrien both of which have been investigated by the authors. Particular attention is paid to shear strength properties of peat and the applicability of traditional soil mechanics. Given the uncertainties which exist about peat strength, a cautious approach to slope stability assessment is advocated together with identification of potential causal factors to mitigate against this geohazard.
Funding Details: Not applicable
Type of material: Journal Article
Publisher: Geological Society of London
Copyright (published version): 2008 Geological Society of London
Keywords: Peat;Landslides;Hazard;Risk assessment;Shear strength;Slope stability
Subject LCSH: Peatlands--Ireland
Landslide hazard analysis--Ireland
Slopes (Soil mechanics)--Stability
Shear strength of soils
DOI: 10.1144/1470-9236/06-028
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Urban Institute Ireland Research Collection
Critical Infrastructure Group Research Collection
Civil Engineering Research Collection

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