Defining precursors of ground failure

Our research group has had some success over the past few years, analyzing timeseries and networks to forecast where failures will occur in laboratory materials. What happens when we take our methods beyond of the lab, and use them on real field data? This is the goal of the newly-funded NSF PREEVENTS collaboration: “Defining precursors of ground failure: a multiscale framework for early landslide prediction through geomechanics and remote sensing.”

This project is particularly timely:  population growth, urban expansion, and extreme weather are contributing more than ever to hazard vulnerability due to landslides. Our collaboration will reach across many disciplinary boundaries — from the physics of complex systems to state-of-the-art satellite data — to make progress in finding new ways to decode the physical origin of ground instability. We aim to define measurable precursors of catastrophic landslide triggering, potentially inspiring the design of innovative real-time early warning systems able to better protect human life and infrastructure.