Is it possible to stop the accelerating landslide in Brienz GR? The geophysical investigations of GEOTEST Ltd should help to answer this question.
The mountain village of Brienz (Brinzauls) in the canton of Graubünden is sliding ever faster towards the Albula valley – currently at a rate of up to one metre per year. This is problematic. Besides protecting the affected settlement and its inhabitants, important infrastructures, such as the railway line, high-voltage power line and cantonal road, must be kept operational.
On account of the high rate of movement, the municipality and the canton have decided to have the structure and mechanics of the landslide investigated more closely. For this purpose, as much spatial information as possible must be gathered in addition to data from targeted deep drilling. This raises the question of the horizontal boundary of the landslide mass, as well as the course and depth of the landslide horizons.
To address these exact questions, GEOTEST was commissioned to carry out geophysical investigations. The hybrid seismic measurements applied for this purpose, consisting of refraction tomography and reflection seismics, are particularly well suited to solve complex geological problems. They visualise the geological strata in the subsurface at a high resolution. Complementary geoelectrical investigations allow more precise statements to be made about the flow of water within the landslide mass.
All the collated results should help to determine whether there are effective and feasible solutions to stop the landslide.