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explain the cause(s) of the Vaiont Dam Failure using 2 paragraphs

October 3, 2021
Christopher R. Teeple

The Vaiont Dam is located high in the Italian Alps above the inhabited Piave Valley. Before the failure, geologists discovered the mountain slopes consisted of ancient landslide deposits which were separated from the mountain rock by thin clay layers. The clay layers were classified as high plasticity fat clays which are known for having low strength and high water retention. The water table in the reservoir caused the clay layers to become slippery, and the ancient landslide deposits began to slide. On October 9, 1963, 270 million cubic meters of debris crashed into the reservoir, displacing a significant portion of water in the reservoir. The water surged over the Vaiont Dam and rushed into the Piave Valley below, killing over 2,000 people. Surprisingly, the dam itself remained intact.
1. Based on your understanding of the Atterberg Limits, explain the cause(s) of the Vaiont Dam Failure using 2 paragraphs (no more than 3). Your argument must be clear, concise, and rooted in science. Hint: Why does a landslide occur? How do soft soils affect the stability of the hillside? What role do the Atterberg limits play?
2. Read the other students’ postings and respond to at least TWO of them. Just saying “Your post is good” or “I like your post” is unacceptable and will earn you zero points. Your response must be thoughtful, context-based, and illustrate contrasts/comparisons (Think text-to-text, text-to-world, text-to-self). You may also express support or appreciation, as needed.

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