limestone application and drawbacks

study of sulfosuccinate and extended sulfated sodium surfactants on the malaysian crude/water properties for asp application in limestone | springerlink

study of sulfosuccinate and extended sulfated sodium surfactants on the malaysian crude/water properties for asp application in limestone | springerlink

Among the successful methods in enhanced oil recovery (EOR) is the chemical EOR. The surfactant-based chemical techniques are highly recommended. However, some drawbacks remained unsolved such as surfactant selection and application in the reservoirs. Surfactants are particularly applied in sandstone reservoirs, so paving the path to expand the implementation to limestone reservoirs is required. Recently, alkaline surfactant polymer (ASP) was suggested for limestone reservoirs in Malaysia. However, limited studies discussed the effect of surfactant screening on the process. Thus, this study investigates the influence of sulfosuccinate and extended sulfated sodium surfactants in improving ASP performance. The evaluation considered the interfacial tension, wettability and recovery factor. The approach used was two-stage experiments of surfactant analysis and ASP core flooding. The first step used the drop Kruss spinning drop tensiometer, and data physics equipment drop shape analyzer to analyze the IFT and the contact angle. The second stage included the limestone sandpack preparation and characterization, followed by ASP flooding. The results showed that single surfactant has low IFT between 0.005 and 0.05mN/m, while significantly, the synergy of surfactant mixtures has ultra-low IFT of 0.00060.001mN/m. The contact angle results showed a drastic alteration of 6581% reduction. The cationic surfactants achieved complete water-wet on limestone. The sandpack preparation confirmed acceptable uniformity by the histogram identification. The oil recovery proved additional recovery between 22 and 40%. The results of this research are a step forward to attain the technical feasibility of ASP in limestone reservoirs.

Abbas, A.H.; Moslemizadeh, A.; Sulaiman, W.R.W.; Jaafar, M.Z.; Agi, A.: An insight into a di-chain surfactant adsorption onto sandstone minerals under different salinity-temperature conditions: chemical EOR applications. Chem. Eng. Res. Des. 153, 657665 (2019)

Pratap, M.; Gauma, M.: Field implementation of alkaline-surfactant-polymer (ASP) flooding: a maiden effort in India. In: SPE Asia Pacific Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition. Society of Petroleum Engineers (2004)

Tumba, J.; Agi, A.; Gbadamosi, A.; Junin, R.; Abbas, A.; Rajaei, K.; Gbonhinbor, J.: Lignin as a potential additive for minimizing surfactant adsorption on clay minerals in different electrolyte concentration. In: SPE Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition. Society of Petroleum Engineers (2019)

Al-Shakry, B.; Shiran, B.S.; Skauge, T.; Skauge, A.: Enhanced oil recovery by polymer flooding: optimizing polymer injectivity. In: SPE Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Annual Technical Symposium and Exhibition. Society of Petroleum Engineers (2018)

Wang, C.; Wang, B.; Cao, X.; Li, H.: Application and design of alkaline-surfactant-polymer system to close well spacing pilot Gudong oilfield. In: SPE Western Regional Meeting. Society of Petroleum Engineers (1997)

Abdullah, M.; Tiwari, S.; Pathak, A.: Evolution of chemical EOR (ASP) program for a carbonate reservoir in North Kuwait. In: SPE Middle East Oil and Gas Show and Conference. Society of Petroleum Engineers (2015)

Al-Murayri, M.T.; Kamal, D.S.; Suniga, P.; Fortenberry, R.; Britton, C.; Pope, G.A.; Liyanage, P.J.; Jang, S.H.; Upamali, K.A.: Improving ASP performance in carbonate reservoir rocks using hybrid-alkali. In: SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition. Society of Petroleum Engineers (2017)

Dang, C.T.Q.; Nguyen, N.T.B.; Chen, Z.; Nguyen, H.X.; Bae, W.; Phung, T.H.: A comprehensive evaluation of the performances of alkaline/surfactant/polymer flooding in conventional and unconventional reservoirs. In: SPE Asia pacific Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition. Society of Petroleum Engineers (2012)

Muherei, M.A.; Junin, R.: Equilibrium adsorption isotherms of anionic, nonionic surfactants and their mixtures to shale and sandstone. Mod. Appl. Sci. 3(2), 158 (2009). https://doi.org/10.5539/mas.v3n2p158

Wolf, L.; Hoffmann, H.; Talmon, Y.; Teshigawara, T.; Watanabe, K.: Cryo-TEM imaging of a novel microemulsion system of silicone oil with an anionic/nonionic surfactant mixture. Soft Matter 6(21), 53675374 (2010)

Hernandez, C.; Chacon, L.J.; Lorenzo, A.; Baldonedo, A.; Jie, Q.; Dowling, P.C.; Pitts, M.J.: ASP system design for an offshore application in the La Salina Field, Lake Maracaibo. In: SPE Latin American and Caribbean Petroleum Engineering Conference. Society of Petroleum Engineers (2001)

Abbas, A.H.; Sulaiman, W.R.W.; Jaafar, M.Z.; Aja, A.A.: Micelle formation of aerosol-OT surfactants in sea water salinity. Arab. J. Sci. Eng. 43, 25152519 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13369-017-2593-0

Xu, Z.; Shaw, A.; Qiao, W.; Li, Z.: Branched chains of arylalkyl surfactants effects on the interfacial tension between crude Oil/Surfactant-alkaline systems. Energy Sources Part A Recov. Util. Environ. Eff. 34(18), 17231730 (2012)

Memon, M.K.; Elraies, K.A.; Shuker, M.T.: Research article effects of surfactant blend formulation on crude oil-brine interaction and wettability: an experimental study. Res. J. Appl. Sci. Eng. Technol. 12(5), 537543 (2016)

Liu, Z.-Y.; Li, Z.-Q.; Song, X.-W.; Zhang, J.-C.; Zhang, L.; Zhang, L.; Zhao, S.: Dynamic interfacial tensions of binary nonionicanionic and nonionic surfactant mixtures at wateralkane interfaces. Fuel 135, 9198 (2014)

Karambeigi, M.S.; Nasiri, M.; Asl, A.H.; Emadi, M.A.: Enhanced oil recovery in high temperature carbonates using microemulsions formulated with a new hydrophobic component. J. Ind. Eng. Chem. 39, 136148 (2016)

Gao, Y.A.; Li, N.; Zheng, L.; Bai, X.; Yu, L.; Zhao, X.; Zhang, J.; Zhao, M.; Li, Z.: Role of solubilized water in the reverse ionic liquid microemulsion of 1-butyl-3-methylimidazolium tetrafluoroborate/TX-100/benzene. J. Phys. Chem. B 111(10), 25062513 (2007)

He, Z.-Q.; Zhang, M.-J.; Fang, Y.; Jin, G.-Y.; Chen, J.: Extended surfactants: a well-designed spacer to improve interfacial performance through a gradual polarity transition. Colloids Surf. A 450, 8392 (2014)

Nwidee, L.N.; Lebedev, M.; Barifcani, A.; Sarmadivaleh, M.; Iglauer, S.: Wettability alteration of oil-wet limestone using surfactant-nanoparticle formulation. J. Colloid Interface Sci. 504, 334345 (2017)

Aghaeifar, Z.; Strand, S.; Austad, T.; Puntervold, T.; Aksulu, H.; Navratil, K.; Stors, S.; Hms, D.: Influence of formation water salinity/composition on the low-salinity enhanced oil recovery effect in high-temperature sandstone reservoirs. Energy Fuels 29(8), 47474754 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.energyfuels.5b01621

Mofrad, S.K.; Dehaghani, A.H.S.: An experimental investigation into enhancing oil recovery using smart water combined with anionic and cationic surfactants in carbonate reservoir. Energy Rep. 6, 543549 (2020)

Al Harrasi, A.; Al-Maamari, R.S.; Masalmeh, S.K.: Laboratory investigation of low salinity waterflooding for carbonate reservoirs. In: Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Conference and Exhibition. Society of Petroleum Engineers (2012)

Dimov, N.K.; Kolev, V.L.; Kralchevsky, P.A.; Lyutov, L.G.; Broze, G.; Mehreteab, A.: Adsorption of ionic surfactants on solid particles determined by zeta-potential measurements: competitive binding of counterions. J. Colloid Interface Sci. 256(1), 2332 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1006/jcis.2001.7821

The authors would like to thank Huntsman EOR USA, for providing the surfactants. The authors are grateful to the financial support provided by the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia grant reference vote number: 4C195.

Khan, M.N., Wan Sulaiman, W.R. & Abbas, A.H. Study of Sulfosuccinate and Extended Sulfated Sodium Surfactants on the Malaysian Crude/Water Properties for ASP Application in Limestone. Arab J Sci Eng 46, 69156924 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s13369-020-05252-5

evaluation of the application conditions of artificial protection treatments on salt-laden limestones and marble - sciencedirect

evaluation of the application conditions of artificial protection treatments on salt-laden limestones and marble - sciencedirect

Soluble salts contaminating limestones and marbles used as building and artistic materials play a relevant role in the deterioration processes of the substrates. Although desalination operations are carried out prior to protection and/or consolidation, a certain amount of salt remains inside the stones. When a surface treatment is chosen, the evaluation of its compatibility with the residual saline content is therefore needed. In the present work, specimens of three lithotypes characterized by a very different porosity Lecce stone and An stone, both highly porous, and the less porous Gioia marble were contaminated with salt and then treated with two protective products, the organic polydimethylsiloxane and the inorganic ammonium oxalate (NH4)2(COO)2H2O. Aim of the research was to select the best application conditions of the two products on salt-laden stone specimens, investigating as well the dependence of the protective action on the procedures adopted to apply the products. The performance of different concentrations and contact times of the products was tested in the laboratory, paying special attention to the possible drawbacks due to the salt. The study was carried out applying different methods: colorimetric measurements before and after the application of the products; water absorption by capillarity to investigate variations in water-interaction features; SEMEDS analyses to evaluate the distribution of products and salt on the substrates.

We examine the compatibility of a surface stone treatment with saline content. Building stones contain a certain amount of salt even after desalination procedures. We select the best applications of two protective products on salt-laden stones. The products are organic di-methyl-polisiloxane and inorganic ammonium oxalate. We examine the dependence of the protection on the procedures to apply the products.

pilot-scale application of sulfur-limestone autotrophic denitrification biofilter for municipal tailwater treatment: performance and microbial community structure - sciencedirect

pilot-scale application of sulfur-limestone autotrophic denitrification biofilter for municipal tailwater treatment: performance and microbial community structure - sciencedirect

Pilot-scale SLADB provides an efficient way for municipal tailwater denitrification.Microbial community spatial distribution was related to nitrogen removal.Both autotrophic and heterotrophic denitrification bacteria were identified in this system.A new concept of advanced wastewater treatment was proposed.

This work aimed to study a pilot-scale sulfur-limestone autotrophic denitrification biofilter (SLADB) to remove nitrogen from municipal tailwater. The capacity of nitrogen removal and spatial distribution of microbial community at low temperature condition were analyzed. Low temperature inhibits nitrogen removal; while prolonging hydraulic retention time (HRT) increased nitrogen removal efficiency. TN and NO3-N removal efficiency reached 81.1% and 85.3%, respectively, with HRT of 18h at the temperature ranging from 6.4 to 9.8C. Proteobacteria and Chloroflexi were two dominant phyla. Along the reactor, class -proteobacteria and -proteobacteria decreased, while -proteobacteria and Acidobacteria increased. For genus classification, Thiobacillus, Sulfurimonas, and Ferritrophicum which promote sulfur autotrophic denitrification, decreased significantly. While Anaerolineae promoting heterotrophic denitrification increased obviously. Sphingobacteriia coexisted in SLADB and were beneficial to nitrogen removal. Microbial community spatial distribution patterns were related to nitrogen removal. This study achieved reliable pilot-scale application of SLADB under low temperature for municipal tailwater.

influence of porosity on artificial deterioration of marble and limestone by heating | springerlink

influence of porosity on artificial deterioration of marble and limestone by heating | springerlink

Testing of stone consolidants to be used on-site, as well as research on new consolidating products, requires suitable stone samples, with deteriorated but still uniform and controllable characteristics. Therefore, a new methodology to artificially deteriorate stone samples by heating, exploiting the anisotropic thermal deformation of calcite crystals, has recently been proposed. In this study, the heating effects on a variety of lithotypes was evaluated and the influence of porosity in determining the actual heating effectiveness was specifically investigated. One marble and four limestones, having comparable calcite amounts but very different porosity, were heated at 400C for 1hour. Asystematic comparison between porosity, pore size distribution, water absorption, sorptivity and ultrasonic pulse velocity of unheated and heated samples was performed. The results of the study show that the initial stone porosity plays a very important role, as the modifications in microstructural, physical and mechanical properties are way less pronounced for increasing porosity. Heating was thus confirmed as a very promising artificial deterioration method, whose effectiveness in producing alterations that suitably resemble those actually experienced in the field depends on the initial porosity of the stone to be treated.

D. Mundronja, F. Vanmeert, K. Hellemans, S. Fazinic, K. Janssens, D. Tibljas, M. Rogosic, S. Jakovljevic, Efficiency of applying ammonium oxalate for protection of monumental limestone by poultice, immersion and brushing methods. Appl. Phys. A, Mater. Sci. Process. (2011). doi:10.1007/s00339-102-7365-9

P.N. Manoudis, I. Karapanagiotis, A. Tsakalof, I. Zuburtikudis, B. Kolinkeov, C. Panayiotou, Superhydrophobic films for the protection of outdoor cultural heritage assets. Appl. Phys. A, Mater. Sci. Process. 97, 351360 (2009)

E. Ciliberto, G.G. Condorelli, S. la Delfa, E. Viscuso, Nanoparticles of Sr(OH)2: synthesis in homogeneous phase at low temperature and application for cultural heritage artefacts. Appl. Phys. A, Mater. Sci. Process. 92, 137141 (2008)

I. Karatasios, P. Theoulakis, A. Kalagri, A. Sapalidis, V. Kilikoglou, Evaluation of consolidation treatments of marly limestones used in archaeological monuments. Constr. Build. Mater. 23, 28032812 (2009)

F. Sandrolini, E. Franzoni, E. Sassoni, P.P. Diotallevi, The contribution of urban-scale environmental monitoring to materials diagnostics: astudy on the Cathedral of Modena (Italy). J. Cult. Heritage 12, 441450 (2011)

J. Delgado Rodrigues, A.P. Ferreira Pinto, C. Paulos Nunes, Preparation of aged samples for testing stone treatments, in Il Consolidamento degli Apparati Architettonici e Decorativi: Conoscenze, Orientamenti, EsperienzeAtti del Convegno di Studi, Bressanone, 1013 Luglio 2007, ed. by G. Biscontin, G. Driussi (2007), pp. 597605, Edizioni Arcadia Ricerche, Marghera (VE)

E. Sassoni, S. Naidu, G.W. Scherer, Preliminary results of the use of hydroxyapatite as a consolidant for carbonate stones. MRS Online Proc. Library 1319, mrsf10-1319-ww04-05 (2011). doi:10.1557/opl.2011.735

M. Drdck, J. Lesk, S. Rescic, Z. Slkov, P. Tiano, J. Valach, Standardization of peeling tests for assessing the cohesion and consolidation characteristics of historic stone surfaces. Mater. Struct. 45, 505520 (2012)

J. Martnez-Martnez, D. Benavente, M.A. Garca-del-Cura, Spatial attenuation: the most sensitive ultrasonic parameter for detecting petrographic features and decay processes in carbonate rocks. Eng. Geol. 119, 8495 (2011)

E. Franzoni, E. Sassoni, Comparison between different methodologies for artificial deterioration of stone aimed at consolidants testing, in Proceedings of 12th International Congress on Deterioration and Conservation of Stone, New York City, USA, 2226 October 2012 (in press)

J. Martnez-Martnez, D. Benavente, M. Gomez-Heras, L. Marco-Castao, M.A. Garca-del-Cura, Non-linear decay of building stones during freeze-thaw weathering processes. Constr. Build. Mater. 38, 443454 (2013)

E. Sassoni, E. Franzoni, G.W. Scherer, S. Naidu, Consolidation of a porous limestone by means of a new treatment based on hydroxyapatite, in Proceedings of 12th International Congress on Deterioration and Conservation of Stone, New York City, USA, 2226 October 2012 (in press)

E. Sassoni, E. Franzoni, B. Pigino, G.W. Scherer, S. Naidu, Consolidation of calcareous and siliceous sandstones by hydroxyapatite: comparison with a TEOS-based consolidant. J. Cult. Heritage 14S, e103e108 (2013)

S. Duchne, V. Detalle, M. Favaro, F. Ossola, P. Tomasin, C. De Zorzi, N. El Habra, Nanomaterials for consolidation of marble and wall paintings, in Proceedings of 12th International Congress on Deterioration and Conservation of Stone, New York City, USA, 2226 October 2012 (in press)

K. Malaga-Starzec, U. kesson, J.E. Lindqvist, B. Schouenborg, Microscopic and macroscopic characterization of the porosity of marble as a function of temperature and impregnation. Constr. Build. Mater. 20, 939947 (2006)

V. Shushakova, E.R. Fuller Jr., F. Heidelbach, S. Siegesmund, Fabric influences on microcrack degradation of marbles, in Proceedings of 12th International Congress on Deterioration and Conservation of Stone, New York City, USA, 2226 October 2012 (in press)

M. Pamplona, S. Simon, Long-term condition survey by ultrasonic velocity testing of outdoor marbles sculptures, in Proceedings of 12th International Congress on Deterioration and Conservation of Stone, New York City, USA, 2226 October 2012 (in press)

Sassoni, E., Franzoni, E. Influence of porosity on artificial deterioration of marble and limestone by heating. Appl. Phys. A 115, 809816 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00339-013-7863-4

a review of the advantages and limitations of geophysical investigations in landslide studies

a review of the advantages and limitations of geophysical investigations in landslide studies

Veronica Pazzi, Stefano Morelli, Riccardo Fanti, "A Review of the Advantages and Limitations of Geophysical Investigations in Landslide Studies", International Journal of Geophysics, vol. 2019, Article ID 2983087, 27 pages, 2019. https://doi.org/10.1155/2019/2983087

Landslide deformations involve approximately all geological materials (natural rocks, soil, artificial fill, or combinations of these materials) and can occur and develop in a large variety of volumes and shapes. The characterization of the material inhomogeneities and their properties, the study of the deformation processes, and the delimitation of boundaries and potential slip surfaces are not simple goals. Since the 70s, the international community (mainly geophysicists and lower geologists and geological engineers) has begun to employ, together with other techniques, geophysical methods to characterize and monitor landslides. Both the associated advantages and limitations have been highlighted over the years, and some drawbacks are still open. This review is focused on works of the last twelve years (2007-2018), and the main goal is to analyse the geophysical community efforts toward overcoming the geophysical technique limitations highlighted in the 2007 geophysics and landslide review. To achieve this aim, contrary to previous reviews that analysed the advantages and limitations of each technique using a technique approach, the analysis was carried out using a material landslide approach on the basis of the more recent landslides classification.

Large landslides and smaller-scale mass movements are natural widespread processes that result in the downward and outward movement of slope-forming materials, significantly sculpting the landscape and redistributing sediment and debris to gentler terrain. The rapid population growth and the pressure from human activities have strongly influenced their extension and occurrence so that they have become disasters causing vast direct and indirect socioeconomic consequences [1]. These deformations involve approximately all geological materials (natural rocks, soil, artificial fill, or combinations of these materials) and can occur and develop in a large variety of volumes and shapes [2]. Artificial fills are usually composed of excavated, transported, and placed soil or rock, but they can also contain demolition debris, ash, slag, and solid trash. The term rock refers to hard or firm bedrock that was intact and in place prior to slope movement. Soil, either residual or transported material, is used for unconsolidated particles or poorly cemented rock or aggregates. Soil is usually further distinguished on the basis of texture as debris (coarse fragments) or earth (fine fragments) according to the well-established Varnes Classification [3]. Following the recent updating of [4], more reasonable use of geotechnical material terminology (clay, silt, sand, gravel, and boulders) is starting to spread, although some classical terminologies (mud, debris, earthflow, peat, and ice) are maintained after a recalibration of their definitions, because they have acquired a recognized status in landslide science by now. The Hungr classification includes aggregations of different materials that have been mixed by geomorphic processes such as weathering, mass wasting, glacier transport, explosive volcanism, or human activity. The use of geotechnical terminology is indeed most useful, as it relates best to the mechanical behaviour of the landslide as stated by [4] and even to most common investigation methods. In any case, the distinction between different materials is usually based on interpretation of the main geomorphic characteristics within landslide deposits but can also be inferred from the geological attributes of the involved parent material. The type of material is one of the most important factors influencing the movement of landslides, which can be categorized as falls, topples, spreads, slides, or flows according to their behaviour from the source area to the final deposit through distinctive kinematics [2, 3, 5]. Actually, the most common criterion used in landslides classification is based on the combination of the materials with the type of movement, but it is possible to find many other classification criteria, including velocities, volumes, water content, geotechnical parameters, and processes related to the formation of the mobilized material, among others. This is because, as stated by [5], engineering geology literature on landslides is affected by inconsistent terminology and ambiguous definitions from older classifications and current key terms for both specialists and the public. Currently, the most widely accepted and used classification is that of [2], which enhances the previous system devised by D.J. Varnes [3, 6]. Since then, only small improvements for specific categories have occurred, such as that for flow-like landslides by [5]. In 2014 Hungr et al. [4], by maintaining the consolidated concepts introduced by [2], redefined some basic elements (basically typology and material) that still refer to the original characterization of [3] and, consequently, updated the total amount of categories (from 29 to 32), along with revisiting some of their descriptions. This new landslides classification version (Table 1), which was proposed to simplify landslides studies, is increasingly circulating in the academic world, and for this reason, it is used as the reference in the present paper.

Characterizing landslide material inhomogeneities and their properties, studying the deformation processes, and delimiting boundaries and potential slip surfaces are not simple goals. They require the availability of a wide range of data, observations, and measurements (e.g., kinematic, geomorphologic, geological, geotechnical, and petro-physical data [7]) and the evaluation of geologic and hydrologic conditions related to phenomena occurrences [8]. To obtain the needed information, many techniques including both traditional methods (detailed geomorphological surveys, geotechnical investigations, local instrumentation, and meteorological parameters analyses) and more recent methods (remote-sensing satellite data, aerial techniques, and synthetic aperture radar interferometry) can be employed [[9, 10] and references within]. Among the latter, geophysical techniques are also included, since they are very useful in detecting the petro-physical properties of the subsoil (e.g., seismic wave velocity, electrical resistivity, dielectric permittivity, and gravitational acceleration [7]). Even though linking geophysical parameters and geological/geotechnical properties should always be supported with direct information (e.g., data from drillings), geophysical methods can provide the layered structure of the soil and certain mechanical parameters [11]. Therefore, because almost all of the advantages of geophysical methods correspond to disadvantages of geotechnical techniques and vice versa, the two investigation techniques can be considered complementary. Finally, the geophysical inversion data, and, therefore, the creation of a reliable subsoil model, is a complex and nonlinear problem that must be evaluated by taking into account all the available data on the site [11].

It is to be noted that the success of geophysical methods is mostly dependent on the presence of a significant and detectable contrast in the physical properties of different lithological units. However, in landslide characterization, geophysical contrast (i.e., differences in mechanical and physical properties) cannot be associated only with a boundary in mechanical properties (i.e., landslide boundaries) and therefore be of interest relative to the slope stability. These measured variations, in fact, could be local anomalies within the landslide or caused by the rough topography, and as a result, they could be of no or little interest [12]. This is why according to [11], the references for landslide investigation purposes are relatively few, and according to [13], there have been few landslides in which geophysical techniques were very useful. Nevertheless, the application of these techniques has changed over the years thanks to technological progress, the availability of cheaper computer electronic parts, and the development of more portable and faster equipment and new software for data processing [12], allowing the adequate investigation of 3D structures, which addresses one of the most ancient geophysical method limitations according to [11].

This review work, which starts from [11], is focused on the last twelve years of works (2007-2018) published in international journals and available online. The main goal was to analyse the geophysical community efforts in overcoming the geophysical technique limitations highlighted in the conclusion section of [11]. The drawbacks pointed out were as follows: (i) geophysicists have to make an effort in the presentation of their results; (ii) the resolution and penetration depth of each method are not systematically discussed in an understandable way; (iii) the geological interpretation of geophysical data should be more clearly and critically explained; (iv) the challenge for geophysicists is to convince geologists and engineers that 3D and 4D geophysical imaging techniques can be valuable tools for investigating and monitoring landslides; and finally, (v) efforts should also be made towards achieving quantitative information from geophysics in terms of geotechnical parameters and hydrological properties. To reach the aim, contrary to the four geophysics and landslide reviews discussed in section number 2 [8, 11, 12, 14] that analysed the advantages and limitations of each technique using a technique approach, the analysis in this paper was carried out on the basis of a material landslide approach according to the recent landslide classification discussed above [4]. Finally, since it is beyond the aim of the work, we do not discuss the theoretical principles of the different geophysical techniques nor how to perform field surveys in this paper.

One of the first papers related to the application of geophysical techniques for the investigation of landslides, defined as a pioneering work by [11], is [8]. Herein, landslides are defined as a sudden or gradual rupture of rocks and their movement downslope by the force of gravity. In this paper, the main advantages of applying geophysical methods are as follows: (a) the rapid investigation of vast areas, collecting a larger number of sample points than those acquired by geologic engineering techniques; (b) the determination of the mechanical properties of wet and dry soils based on the measurements of large rock volumes directly involved in the processes; (c) the measured parameters reflect the combined geological and hydrological characteristics, which sometimes cannot be identified separately; and (d) the measurements can be repeated any number of times without disturbing the environment. Four main goals can be reached by applying vertical electric sounding (VES), seismic refraction (SR), self-potential (SP), and electromagnetic measurements (EM), listed as follows: (i) the investigation of the landslide geologic configuration, (ii) the investigation of the groundwater (determining the level and its fluctuation with time) as a landslide formation factor, (iii) the study of the physical properties and status of the landslide deposits and their changes with time, and (iv) the investigation of the landslide displacement process. Reference [8] also showed how electrical resistivity values and seismic waves velocities decrease between the bedrock and the rocks in the landslide body. Finally, in the conclusion section of [8], microseismic noise (SN) analysis is mentioned as a valuable method by which to characterize the slope soil strata.

Reference [14] conducted a review of the geophysical methods employed in landslide investigations. They highlighted that the selection of the method/s to be applied depends on its/their suitability for solving the problem. To estimate this adequacy, there are four main control factors: (i) the definition/understanding of the geophysical contrasts that have to be investigated, (ii) the evaluation of the characteristics (penetration depth and resolution) of the geophysical methods, (iii) the calibration of the acquired data by means of geological/geotechnical data, and finally, (iv) the signal-to-noise ratio. In the paper, several case studies are shown wherein the SR was successfully employed to determine the lower landslide boundary.

Ten years later, the SR, seismic reflection (SRe), electrical resistivity (ER), SP, EM, and gravimetry were discussed by [12] as the most frequently used methods in landslide characterization. For each method, the author gives (i) the theoretical principles, (ii) how to perform the measurements, (iii) the sources for those which are active techniques, and, finally, (iv) some expected results. Moreover, he presents some summary tables with the physical property ranges (e.g., those of the P-wave velocity, density, and electrical resistivity) of the most common soil and rock masses in their crude form (without taking into account variations caused by different clay contents, weathering, saturation, etc.). Finally, for each discussed method, [12] synthesizes in one table its suitability for use in landslide characterization, human artefact (like pipes and foundations) identification, and physical properties determination for geotechnical purposes. Overall, the SP method results are not or only marginally suitable in all fields. Nevertheless, in the same year, [15] and, later, [1618] showed how the SP method could be helpfully employed. From the table in [12], the seismic tomography and 2D and 3D geo-electric results correspond to the best methods for use in landslide characterization.

Reference [11] presents the state of the art of the geophysical techniques applied in landslide characterization based on papers after 1990. According to this review, the methods could be divided into seldom, widely, and increasingly used categories. Among the first methods they enumerate are SRe, ground penetrating radar (GPR), and gravimetry, while among the second group are SR, ER VES, or tomographies (ERT), and SP, and, finally, among the third group are SN, surface waves (SW), and EM. Moreover, they indicate seismic tomography (ST) as method useful only for limited site conditions (rock slides). They synthetize in a table (a) the main geophysical methods used, (b) the measured geophysical parameters and information type, (c) the geological context, (d) the landslide classification following [2], (e) the geomorphology, and (f) the applications (targets). According to the review in [11], there are three main advantages and three main limitations in employing geophysics for the subsurface mapping of landslides. As benefits of the geophysical methods, the author enumerates (i) the flexibility and the relative efficiency on slopes; (ii) the noninvasiveness and the generation of information on the internal structures of soil or rock masses; and (iii) the allowance of examining large volumes of soil. As drawbacks, he highlights that (i) the resolution, which is dependent on the signal-to-noise ratio, decreases with depth; (ii) the solution for a set of data is nonunique, and the results must be calibrated; and (iii) these methods yield indirect information on the subsoil, such as physical parameters rather than geological or geotechnical properties. One of the main conclusions of the review is that in landslide characterization, the geophysical survey design is still a much-debated question, and no unique strategy has arisen from the literature.

Reference [11] is the last review published in an international journal and available online that focused on the advantages and limitations of the geophysical methods applied in landslides characterization. Reference [19], in fact, discusses, by means of case studies, benefits and drawbacks of the most common geophysical techniques (GPR, ER, and SR) in geomorphological applications. Therefore, in this paper landslides are just one of the possible fields of application. Two more recent reviews about geophysics and landslides are [20, 21]. The first is focused only on the ERT technique applied in landslide investigations and analyses the advantages and limitations of 2D-, 3D-, and 4D-ERT (or time-lapse ERT: tl-ERT) surveys based on papers of the period from 2000 to 2013. The second is a review of the current state of the art and the future prospects of the near surface geophysical characterization of areas prone to natural hazards (e.g., landslides, rockfalls, avalanches and rock glaciers, floods, sinkholes and subsidences, earthquakes, and volcanos) published in a book series (and, therefore, not freely available online for download), wherein the analysis of the geophysical techniques applied in landslides characterization is limited to subsections of the case study section.

As mentioned in Introduction, this review work is based on a material landslide approach analysis on the basis of the more recent landslide classification presented by [4] and discussed in Introduction. Even though this classification is not widely employed (only 20% of the analysed papers from the years 2015-2018 adopted it, and these papers are marked with # in Tables 2 and 3), we decided to use it considering that the same landslide could assume different names from paper to paper, though the authors could be more or less the same. Among the analysed papers, examples are the Super Sauze landslide and the La Vallette landslides (marked in Table 2 with () and (), respectively) or the Randa landslide (marked with () in Table 3). This means that the analysed works are clustered and discussed in two groups, soil and rock, respectively, on the basis of the material landslide type (columns 2 and 3 of Table 1).

Moreover, we decided to analyse the works starting from 2007 because the review in [20] is focused only on the ERT technique application; nevertheless, we do not analyse in detail all references already discussed therein, but we synthetize the results. The results of the review analysis are summarized in Tables 2 and 3, where for each work, we specify: (a) the landslide typology according the authors of the paper (i.e., how they refer to the landslide in the text) and (b) according to the classification from [4] (where possible, since sometimes it is not easy to identify the landslide classes from [4] on the basis of only the text); (c) the materials involved in the landslides; (d) which geophysical methods and (e) which other traditional techniques were employed; and (f)-(l) how many efforts were performed to overcome the five drawbacks highlighted by [11] and listed in Introduction. To quantify these efforts, a three-level scale was employed, where +, -, and n.d. mean, respectively, that many/some, insufficient, and nondiscussed efforts were made to overcome the limitations. Unfortunately, we know that the evaluation of how many efforts were performed could seem subjective. Therefore, in Table 4, for each drawback, we summarize how we evaluated the efforts.

Soil landslides, with respect to rock landslides, are the typology most studied with geophysical techniques. Among the 120 analysed papers, more than half (e.g., 66 papers, which means 75 landslides analysed without considering those reported in [20]) were about soil landslides, and among them, more than half were on the flow type. As summarized in Table 5, in fact, no one was focused on falls, topples, or spreads, while 28 landslides (the 37.3%) were analysed focused on the slide (6 clay/silt rotational slides, 8 clay/silt planar slides, 11 rotational and planar slides, 1 debris slide, and 2 clay/silt compound slides), 41 (the 54.6%) on the flows (5 sensitive clay flowslides, 9 debris flows, 5 mud flows, and 22 earthflows), and 6 (the 8.1%) on the slope deformations (soil slope deformation). Only two of the analysed landslides were marine landslides [33, 35], indicating that it is not easy to conduct geophysical surveys to characterize landslides that dive into the sea. It is also important to point out that in our analysis, we do not consider papers focused on the geophysical characterization of quick-clay that could evolve into a sensitive clay flowslide but only papers focused on those that already occurred [35, 51, 52, 72].

In only 8 works (12.1% of the analysed soil landslide works), it is possible to find a detailed discussion of the theory applied to landslides, concerning either how to formulate the inversion problem [41, 46, 52, 55, 68, 83] or how to combine data from different surveys [7, 42]. All the other papers deal with the discussion of a case study.

A detailed analysis of the applied techniques is discussed in Section 4. Below, we present only the main considerations from some papers. ERT is an active geophysical method that can provide both 2D and 3D images of the subsoil. A wide review of this technique applied to landslides is provided in [20]. Therefore, here, we limit discussion to saying that in most papers (29 of 33 that present ERT applications, i.e., 88.0%), 2D ERTs are shown, while only in 6.0% (2 papers of 33), 3D ERTs are shown, and in the remaining 6.0% (2 papers of 33), both 3D and 2D applications are presented.

Since the 60s, passive seismic techniques have been developed to monitor and characterize signals triggered by landslide dynamics and related changes in the material mechanical properties (i.e., (i) material bending, shearing, or compression; (ii) fissure opening; (iii) slipping at the bedrock interface; and (iv) debris flows or mudslides) [22, 55]. They are of great interest in (a) detecting debris flows [30], (b) assessing site effects [24, 29], (c) detecting landslide slip surfaces [10], and (d) estimating the thickness of a material that could be mobilized by a landslide [136]. Another advantage of this method is its ability to detect remote events that might otherwise go unnoticed for weeks or months. The main difficulties arise from two issues: (i) the seismic signatures of landslides and mud/debris flows are very complex and cannot be effectively identified without a detailed waveform analysis and (ii) the epicentres of landslides and mud/debris flows cannot be confidently determined by conventional earthquake-locating methods, mainly due to the lack of clear arrivals of P and S phases [44].

Among the 120 analysed papers, less than half (e.g., 54) were about rock landslides, and the majority discussed were of the rock fall type. As summarized in Table 6 the landslide typology is divided as follows: 41 (the 54.6%) falls, 5 (the 6.7%) topples (5 block topples), 18 (the 24.0%) slides (1 rotational, 2 planar, 1 wedge, 3 compound, 1 irregular), 1 (the 1.3%) spread (rock slope spread), 6 (the 8.0%) flows (avalanches), and 4 (the 5.4%) slope deformations (3 mountain slope deformations and 1 rock slope deformation). In all the works that discuss the application of seismic techniques [26, 55, 84, 86, 87, 89, 91, 93101, 103107, 111118, 120, 121, 126128, 130, 131, 133, 134], it is possible to find a more- or less-detailed discussion on the theory of the seismic wave analysis carried out to find the rock landslide features.

Rock landslides are well-known phenomena but are poorly understood. Contrary to other landslide types, rockfalls are usually sudden phenomena with few apparent precursory patterns observed prior to the collapse. A key point in the prediction of rock slope failure is better knowledge of the internal structure (e.g., the persistence of joints), which requires an interdisciplinary research field among rock mechanics, rock engineering, and mining [98]. This is why in 64.8% of the analysed papers, the geophysical technique is carried out along with more traditional methods (i.e., boreholes, mining, extensometers, and inclinometers). Moreover, there are at least two limitations in applying geophysical methods for rock deposits: (a) the difficulty of deploying sensors (i.e., ER electrodes, geophones, or GPR antennas) on sharp and blocky ground with a high void ratio and (b) the low geophysical contrast between the rock deposit and the underlying layers with comparable properties [[137], not listed in Table 3 because it was already analysed by [20]]. In [137], there is another limitation in applying geophysics for rock deposits: the presence of a shallow geophysical contrast caused by the subsoil water table that could mask deeper interfaces. Nevertheless, this limitation also has to be considered for soil landslides.

More recently, to overcome these limitations, rock slope stability characterization and monitoring has been carried out using passive seismic techniques (see also the discussion session), implemented initially in open-mine monitoring [98]. These techniques, in fact, could help in (i) understanding the seismic responses of rock to slope deformation (e.g., the release of stored elastic energy under particular conditions) [135, 138], (ii) detecting and locating microearthquakes generated by fracturing within unstable rock masses (major effort is required for classifying seismic signals and extracting those related to landslides [86, 99, 129]), and (iii) identifying remote events that could otherwise go unnoticed for weeks or months. Therefore, these methods are applied to avalanches [26, 84, 101, 126], rock topplings [107, 111, 117, 134], rockslides [55, 9699, 103, 116, 126, 127, 130], and rock falls or cliff failures [86, 88, 89, 91, 9395, 100, 104106, 112115, 118, 120, 121, 126, 128, 131, 133]. Finally, some works are focused on finding the relation among rock landslides, displacement rate measurements, and meteorological (i.e., rain and temperature) parameters [95, 99, 100].

Most studies focused on geophysical surveys are applied (a) to explore the subsoil for mineral deposits or fossil fuels, (b) to find underground water supplies, (c) for engineering purposes, and (d) for archaeological investigations [19]. Technological progress and the availability of cheaper computer electronic parts has allowed the improvement of more portable equipment and the development of 2D and 3D geophysical techniques [11, 12]. Therefore, the applicability of geophysical methods in landslide characterization has grown over the years. Starting from the state of the art of the geophysical techniques applied in landslide characterizations pointed out in [12], this review focused on the papers from the last twelve (2007-2018) years and tried to understand how many efforts have been made by the international scientific community to overcome the drawbacks. These geophysical techniques limitations are listed in Introduction. To reach the goal of this paper, contrary to the four reviews discussed in Section 2 [8, 11, 12, 14], the analyses of the geophysical method advantages and limitation were carried out on the basis of the latest landslide classification, which is mainly based on the involved materials and geotechnical properties [4]. Therefore, the 120 analysed papers were divided into two classes: soil (in red in the following figures) and rock (in green in the following figures), which account for 66 and 54 works, respectively.

Even though it is well known that it is better to integrate more than one geophysical technique because of the intrinsic limitations of each approach, in 68.3% of the analysed papers (Figure 1), only one geophysical method is presented and discussed. However, in 64.6% of these works (which correspond to 44.1% of the total analysed papers, as indicated by the bottom/darker part of the blue bar in Figure 1), the geophysical results are interpreted on the basis of other techniques. This means that only in 24.2% of the analysed works (the top/lighter part of the blue bar in Figure 1) is just one technique presented, and in 80% of these 24.2% (which means four works out of five), the employed method is a passive seismic technique. This is probably because these techniques (a) require quite light equipment, (b) can be employed to both monitor and characterize seismic signals triggered by landslide dynamics [55, 133, 134], and (c) can be useful for overcoming the unpredictable occurrence of rockfalls [128], even though it is not easy to correlate seismic signal features with landslide geological properties [120, 134].

For each landslide typology (soil in red, rock in green, and total in blue), the bar graph shows the number of papers focused on just one technique or on more than one. Numbers on the top of the bars are the percentage values with respect to the total number of analysed papers. The darker colours of the soil and rock bars of the one-technique group indicate in how many works the passive seismic technique was employed alone. The dark blue portion of the one-technique total bar indicates in how many works other nongeophysical techniques were employed.

In general, active and passive seismic methods are the most employed in landslide characterization and monitoring (Figure 2). In soil landslides, the three most employed techniques are ERT, SN (at local and regional scales), and SR. The last, together with SRe and SW, is largely used in this kind of landslide typology, and in general, it is easier to find papers focused on soil landslides that integrate the abovementioned seismic techniques with other less-common techniques (e.g., MG, IP, SP, and EM). Our analysis of soil landslides confirms the conclusions of [20]; i.e., (a) ERT and SR integration proves to be the most effective, (b) the joint application of ERT, SR, and GPR seems to solve and overcome the resolution problems of each single method, and (c) in the literature, there are very few examples of ERT combined with IP to distinguish clayey material or to better interpret ERT. In rock landslides, the three most employed techniques are SN (at local and regional scales), ERT, and SR, indicating that passive seismic techniques are preferred over electrical ones. As mentioned above, this is probably because they can be employed to both monitor and characterize seismic signals triggered by landslide dynamics [55, 133, 134]. At the fourth position is GPR, although the authors highlight both the difficulty of deployment on cliffs and the limitation of its applicability to only highly resistive rock slopes [87, 88, 92, 132].

In Figure 3, for each drawback, the percentages and the numbers of papers (numbers on the top of the bars) that fall into each level of the three-level scale (+, -, and n.d., which mean that many/some, insufficient, and nondiscussed efforts were made to overcome the limitations, as shown in Table 4) are summarized. In general, it is possible to observe that great efforts were made (95 papers out of the 120 analysed, which is 79.1%, are on the + level of the scale) to improve the geological interpretation of the geophysical data and to explain it more clearly and critically (drawback 3). In contrast, very few efforts were made to (a) systematically discuss, in an understandable way, the resolution and penetration depth of each method (drawback 2: 91 papers out of the 120 analysed, which are 75.8%, are on the n.d. level of the scale), (b) to convince geologists and engineers that 3D and 4D geophysical imaging techniques can be valuable tools for investigating and monitoring landslides (drawback 4: 107 papers for 3D applications and 102 papers for 4D applications out of the 120 analysed, which are 89.2% and 85.0%, respectively, are on the + level of the scale), and (c) to obtain quantitative information in terms of geotechnical parameters and hydrological properties from geophysical data (drawback 5: 99 papers out of the 120 analysed, which are 82.5%, are on the n.d. level of the scale). Finally, thanks to the development of new 2D and 3D imaging software, some efforts, but still not enough (57 papers out of the 120 analysed, which is 47.5%, are on the + level of the scale), were made to show the geophysical results more clearly (drawback 1).

The bar graph indicates the percentage of efforts made (+ means many/some, - means insufficient, and n.d. means nondiscussed) to overcome each drawback. The percentages of papers focused on soil landslides are in red, those of papers focused on rock landslides are in green, while in blue are the total percentages. The numbers on the top of each bar indicate the numbers of papers.

Drawback 1: Geophysicists Have to Make an Effort in the Presentation of Their Results. According to our analysis (Figure 3), the efforts to overcome this drawback were performed more or less in the same way for both soil and rock landslides. This means that a tendency to show and present the results more objectively is beginning to emerge. This could be possible thanks to the development of new 2D and 3D software that allow the integration of data from different sources and surveys (e.g., geophysical, geotechnical, and borehole data). Nevertheless, the presentation of seismic data is sometimes still hard, since authors often show the rough traces or spectra (e.g., [22, 24, 26, 29, 39, 40, 44, 47, 49, 55, 56, 58, 64, 76, 84, 89, 95, 97, 98, 101, 103, 104, 106, 112, 116, 117, 121, 126, 127, 131, 133]) that could be difficult to read for a nonexpert audience.

Drawback 2: The Spatial Resolution and Penetration Depth of Each Method Are Not Systematically Discussed in an Understandable Way. Each technique has a different resolution and penetration depth that contribute to the final quality of a geometrical model. According to [7], several preprocessing steps are needed to carefully check the data quality and, therefore, the resolution and penetration depth before incorporation into a 3D model. In total, 75.8% of the analysed papers (47 of those on soil landslides and 44 of those on the rock type) do not discuss either the resolution or the penetration depth of the presented methodology (Figure 3). Additionally, in the review in [20], none of the cited papers within the year range (2007-2013) examine these two points. In contrast, in the remaining 24.2% (Figure 3) of the examined works, these two points are discussed more in depth in nine papers [7, 23, 27, 38, 62, 68, 93, 105, 128], and only few words are presented in the other twenty [25, 33, 41, 43, 49, 50, 67, 7375, 78, 80, 85, 87, 90, 92, 108, 110, 132]. Therefore, most of the authors who present the results of an integrated survey do not discuss how to consider and combine these data. It is possible to conclude that this drawback has still not been overcome since 2007 and the review in [11].

Drawback 3: The Geological Interpretation of Geophysical Data Should Be More Clearly and Critically Explained. The 3D internal structural characterization of a slope/cliff is essential to any landslide stability analysis and to hydro-mechanical modelling [7]. Nevertheless, interdisciplinary aspects between geomorphological and geophysical data/results are poorly addressed [19]. According to our review (Figure 3), in 79.2% of the analysed papers (47 of those on soil landslides and 48 of those on the rock type), many efforts have been made to interpret, show, and explain the geophysical data in a more clear and critical way. However, almost 50.0% of these works (those marked with + in Tables 2 and 3, which total 11 of 47 for soil landslides and 36 of 48 for the rock type) involve passive seismic monitoring and data analysis and interpretation to (a) provide information on slope dynamics and (b) identify landslide features. Moreover, it is worthwhile to note that the geophysical data interpretations are still not indisputable. In many papers, in fact, the discussion of the results is accompanied by words such as suspect, suppose, speculate, probably/probable, potential, our preferred interpretation, and provide important information on possible [9, 22, 2527, 35, 3840, 4244, 46, 4853, 57, 58, 63, 68, 72, 74, 75, 77, 85, 86, 96, 99, 101, 102, 104, 106, 108110, 112, 114, 115, 118, 122, 126, 134]. Without close collaboration between geophysicists and geomorphologists, the accurate and effective use of geophysical techniques, as well as the corresponding data interpretation, is often very limited [19].

Drawback 4: The Challenge for Geophysicists Is to Convince Geologists and Engineers That 3D and 4D Geophysical Imaging Techniques Can Be Valuable Tools for Investigating and Monitoring Landslides. In the hydrocarbon industry, the best strategy for reconstructing a high-resolution model is acquiring a 3D data set [31]. On the other hand, there are interesting results from the noninvasive time-lapse monitoring of the hydrological behaviour of a mountain slope [139]. However, in 89.2% of the analysed works (Figure 3) 3D geophysical imaging is not discussed. Even though the 3D volumetric reconstruction of a landslide is a suitable target with new technologies [46, 60, 65, 92], a 3D survey could be very tiring, exhausting, and time-consuming, since it is still difficult to carry and move the equipment over the slope [18, 20]. To overcome this limitation, the acquisition is usually performed by means of 2D parallel profiles, and the results are shown in a 3D fence diagram [[20] and references within, [27, 51, 52, 57, 86, 92, 124]]. Thus, this drawback highlighted by [11] has not been overcome and is still a challenge for geophysicists.

Passive seismic monitoring could be considered a 4D technique, but none of the authors refer to this method in this way. Therefore, in our analysis, we also have not considered it as a 4D technique, and the results show that in 85% of the works (Figure 3), 4D geophysical imaging is not discussed. In general, 4D ERT has been more frequently employed thanks to the development of ER multichannel measuring systems that significantly reduced the acquisition time [20, 140]. These systems [such as those employed in [141, 142]], in fact, (i) are able to simultaneously acquire a number of potential measurements for a single pair of current electrodes and (ii) can be set up to provide ERT at specific times during the day. Nevertheless, even though tl-ERTs could be helpfully employed in landslide monitoring, since they could provide information about the water content changes (i.e., the data could be related to pore water pressure variations and, therefore, to landslide triggering mechanisms), there are still few examples of 4D ERTs in landslide areas [60, 65, 92]. Moreover, it is still needed to improve software such that it is able to (i) continuously (or very frequently) process acquired data (e.g., ErtLab by Geostudy Astier, [140]), (ii) to link ER variations with hydrological parameter changes, and (ii) to take into account that the positions of the electrodes could change over the time because of the landslide movement [38, 65].

Drawback 5: Efforts Should Also Be Made towards Obtaining Quantitative Information from Geophysics in Terms of Geotechnical Parameters and Hydrological Properties. Authors agree that seismic wave velocities and soil ER could be useful in identifying anomalies related to structural (faults, fissures, and stability), lithological (sand to clay or calcareous variations) and hydrological (moisture, water flow) conditions [42, 123, 143]. However, drillings and inclinometer measurements are still crucial to providing a reliable idea of landslide structures and slip surfaces and to validate any geophysical measurements. This is probably because the geophysical property ranges cover several orders of magnitude, and a measured parameter cannot be directly assigned to a sure substrate. Currently, the major difficulty of applying geophysical techniques to landslides, as also highlighted by [11], is still the complex relationship between the measured geophysical parameters and the desired geotechnical and hydrogeological properties, which prevents the provision, in terms of engineering properties, of a straightforward interpretation. Moreover, a very accurate and high-resolution survey can still only be done on a small landslide portion [23, 24, 27, 28, 38, 40, 46, 60, 78, 86, 92], as it is costly and time-consuming. As also pointed out by [143], this complexity in obtaining quantitative information from geophysical data is probably also caused by (a) the lack of knowledge about geophysics techniques in the geotechnical engineering/geological community and (b) engineers inclination to believe in soil and rock that they can see visually (borehole log), rather than in what they cannot see (geophysical signal).

These abovementioned limitations are confirmed by our analysis. In total, 82.5% of the works (99 of 120, Figure 3), in fact, do not discuss how to obtain quantitative information on geotechnical and hydrogeological properties from geophysical data. In the remaining 17.5% (21 works, 14 of those on soil landslides and 7 of those on the rock type), both seismic and electrical methods are used in the same percentage (9 works focused on seismic methods, 8 on ER, and 4 on both seismic and ER methods). Thus, this drawback has still not been overcome, and laboratory surveys to establish a link between rock properties and geophysical data, as well as interdisciplinary communication and discussion, are the primary keys [90].

This review work analysed the papers published in open-access journals from 2007 until today, focusing on the application of geophysical techniques to landslides. It was based on a material landslide approach analysis and evaluated how many efforts were performed to overcome the five drawbacks highlighted by the last review, which dates to 2007, concerning geophysical techniques applied to landslide monitoring and characterization. To quantify these efforts, a three-level scale was employed (from many/some efforts to nondiscussed). In general, it is possible to observe that (i) many efforts were made to improve the geological interpretation of geophysical data and to explain the interpretations more clearly and critically (drawback 3); (ii) some efforts, but still not enough, were made to show geophysical results more clearly (drawback 1); and (iii) very few efforts were made to (a) systematically discuss, in an understandable way, the resolution and penetration depth of each method (drawback 2), (b) to convince geologists and engineers that 3D and 4D geophysical imaging techniques can be valuable tools for investigating and monitoring landslides (drawback 4), and (c) to obtain quantitative information in terms of geotechnical parameters and hydrological properties from geophysical data (drawback 5).

The most studied landslides are those of the flow type for soil landslide typology and those of the fall type for the rock category. From the employed method point of view, active and passive seismic methods are the most employed in landslide characterization and monitoring. The latest method is also able to remotely detect events that might otherwise go unnoticed for weeks or months, and therefore, it is widely employed. The three more frequently applied techniques, regardless the typology (soil or rock), are ERT, SN and SR, which are to both characterize and monitor the slope deformation. Finally, independently of the applied technique/s, a very accurate and high-resolution survey could be performed only on a small landslide portion, as it is costly and time-consuming.

Copyright 2019 Veronica Pazzi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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