Slope stability analysis on a regional scale using GIS: A case study from Dhading, Nepal

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Environmental Geology


A spatially distributed physically based slope stability model combined with a hydrological model is presented and applied to a 350-km2 area located in Dhading district, Nepal. Land slide safety factor maps are generated for five cases, including three steady state conditions assuming either completely dry soils, half saturated soils, or fully saturated soils, and two quasi-dynamic conditions, i.e. soil wetness resulting from storm events with, respectively a 2 or 25-year return period. For the quasi-dynamic cases, two methods are used, one based on accumulation of groundwater flow from upstream areas, and the other on accumulation of soil water from direct infiltration. The methodology delineates areas most prone to shallow land sliding in function of readily available data as topography, land-use and soil types. For the study area only 29% of the soils are unconditionally stable, while 25% of the soils are found to be unstable under fully saturated conditions. The comparison between the methods based on contributing area or on infiltration for quasi-dynamic conditions show that the approach based on infiltration is more reliable for the study area. The proposed methodology for predicting landslide susceptibility on a regional scale, based on basic data in GIS form, may be useful for other remote regions where detailed information is not available. © 2008 Springer-Verlag.

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