The state-of-the-art finite element software Plaxis 3D was applied in a real-world study site of the Turaida castle mound to investigate the slope stability of the mound and understand the mechanisms triggering landslides there. During the simulation, the stability of the castle mound was analysed and the most landslide-susceptible zones of hillslopes were determined. The 3D finite-element stability analysis has significant advantages over conventional 2D limit-equilibrium methods where locations of 2D stability sections are arbitrarily selected. Two modelling scenarios of the slope stability were elaborated considering deep-seated slides in bedrock and shallow landslides in the colluvial material of slopes. The model shows that shallow slides in colluvium are more probable. In the finite-element model, slope failure occurs along the weakest zone in colluvium, similarly to the situation observed in previous landslides in the study site. The physical basis of the model allows results to be obtained very close to natural conditions and delivers valuable insight in triggering mechanisms of landslides.
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