Advertisement

Systems for hazards identification in high mountain areas: An example from the Kullu District, western Himalaya

  • James S. Gardner
  • Eric Saczuk
Article

Abstract

Methods and techniques for the identification, monitoring and management of natural hazards in high mountain areas are enumerated and described. A case study from the western Himalayan Kullu District in Himachal Pradesh, India is used to illustrate some of the methods. Research on the general topic has been conducted over three decades and that in the Kullu District has been carried out since 1994. Early methods of hazards identification in high mountain areas involved intensive and lengthy fieldwork and mapping with primary reliance on interpretation of landforms, sediments and vegetation thought to be indicative of slope failures, rock falls, debris flows, floods and accelerated soil surface erosion. Augmented by the use of airphotos and ad hoc observations of specific events over time, these methods resulted in the gradual accumulation of information on hazardous sites and the beginnings of a chronology of occurrences in an area. The use of historical methods applied to written and photographic material, often held in archives and libraries, further improved the resolution of hazards information. In the past two decades, both the need for, and the ability to, accurately identify potential hazards have increased. The need for accurate information and monitoring comes about as a result of rapid growth in population, settlements, transportation infrastructure and intensified land uses and, therefore, risk and vulnerability in mountain areas. Ability has improved as the traditional methods of gathering and manipulating data have been supplemented by the use of remote sensing, automated terrain modeling, global positioning systems and geographical information systems. This paper focuses on the development and application of the latter methods and techniques to characterize and monitor hazards in high mountain areas.

Keywords

Hazards mapping GIS Himalaya 

References

  1. Barnard, P.L., Owen, L.A., Sharma, M.C. and Finkel, R.C. 2001. Natural and human-induced landsliding in the Garhwal Himalaya of northern India.Geomorphology,40: 21–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Benda, L. E. and Cundy, T. W. 1990. Predicting deposition of debris flows in mountain channels.Can. Geotech. J.,27: 409–417.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Blomgren, Sten 1999. A digital elevation model for estimating flooding scenarios at the Falsterbo Peninsula.Environmental Modelling and Software,46(6): 579–587.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Brabb, E. 1984. Innovative approaches to landslide hazard and risk mapping. IVth International Symposium on Landslides.Toronto,1: 307–524.Google Scholar
  5. Carrara A., 1983 Multivariate models for landslide hazard evaluation.Mathematical Geol. 15: 403–426.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Carrara, A.; cardinali, M.; Guzzetti, F. 1992. Uncertainty in assessing landslide hazard and risk.ITC Journal.2: 172–183.Google Scholar
  7. Carrara, A. and Merenda, L., 1976. Landslide inventory in northern Calabria. Southern Italy.Bulletin Geoglogical Society of America,87(1976): 1153–1162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Chowdury, R. 1988. Analysis methods for assessing landslide risk: recent developments. Vth International Symposium on Landslides.Lausanne,1: 515–524.Google Scholar
  9. Crozier, M.J. (1973) Techniques for morphometric analysis of landslips.Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie,17(1): 78–101.Google Scholar
  10. Crozier, M.J. (1986) Landslides: Causes, consequences and environment. London.Croom Helm Publishers, pp 252.Google Scholar
  11. Datt, D. 1991. Land systems, land-use and natural hazards in the Lower Bino Basin (Lesser Himalaya), India.Mountain Research and Development,11(3): 271–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Deoja, B.; Dhital, M.; Thapa, B. and Wagner, A. (eds.) (1991)Mountain risk engineering handbook — Subject background part 1. International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development, Kathmandu, Nepal.Google Scholar
  13. DeScally, F. and Gardner, J. 1994. Characteristics and mitigation of the snow avalanche hazard in Kaghan Valley, Pakistan Himalaya.Natural Hazards,9: 197–213.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fekete, B., Vörösmarty, C., and Grabs, W. 2002. High resolution fields of global runoff combining observed river discharge and simulated water balances.Global Biochemical Cycles,16(3): 151–156.Google Scholar
  15. Gardner, J. 2002. Natural hazards risk in the Kullu District, Himachal Pradesh, India.The Geographical Review,92(2): 282–306.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gardner, J.S., Sinclair, J., Berkes, F. and Singh, R.B. 2002. Accelerated tourism development and its impacts in Kullu-Manali, H.P., India.Tourism Recreation Research,27(3): 9–20.Google Scholar
  17. Gardner, J., DeScally, F. and Rowbatham, D. 1992. Identification and monitoring of multiple geomorphic hazards in high mountain areas. In Singh, R.B. (ed.).Dynamics of Mountain Geosystems. New Delhi, Ashish Publications, 247–270.Google Scholar
  18. Gatsis, I., Pavlopoulos, A. and Parcharidis, I. 2001. geomorphological observations and related natural hazards using merged remotely-sensed data: a case study in the Corinthos area (NE Peloponnese, Greece).Geografiska Annaler,83A(4): 217–228.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Gerrard, J. 1994. The landslide hazard in the Himalaya: geological control and human action.Geomorphology,10: 221–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Ghilardi, P., Natale, L., and Savi, F. 2001. Modeling debris flow propagation and deposition.Phys. Chem. Earth,26(9): 651–656.Google Scholar
  21. Gupta, R.P. and Joshi, B.C. 1990. Landslide hazard zonation using the GIS approach — a case study from Ranganga catchment,Himalayas.Engineering Geology,28: 119–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gupta, R.P., Sah, M.P., Virdi, N.S. and Bartarya, S.K. 1993. Landslide hazard zonation in the upper Satlej valley, District Kinnaur, Himachal Pradesh.Journal of Himalayan Geology,4: 81–93.Google Scholar
  23. Gupta, R.P., Saha, A.K., Arora, M.K. and Kumar, A. 1999. Landslide hazard zonation in a part of the Bhagarithi Valley, Garhwal Himalaya using integrated remote sensing-GIS.Himalayan Geology,20: 71–85.Google Scholar
  24. Guthrie, R.H. 2002. The effects of logging on frequency and distribution of landslides in three watersheds on Vancouver Island, British Columbia.Geomorphology,43: 273–292.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Hirano, M., Harada, T., Banihabib, M. E., and Kawahara, K. 1997. Estimation of Hazard Area Due to Debris Flow, in Cheng-Lung Chen (Ed.), Debris Flow Hazards Mitigation: Mechanics,Prediction and Assessment, ASCE, 696–706.Google Scholar
  26. Hewitt, K. 1997. Risks and disasters in mountain lands. In Messerli, B. and Ives, J.D. (eds.). Mountains of the World: A Global Priority.London, Parthenon Publishers, 371–408.Google Scholar
  27. Johnson, K., Olson, E.A. and Manandhar, S. 1982. Environmental knowledge and response to natural hazards in mountainous Nepal.Mountain Research and Development,2(2): 175–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Kienholz, H., Hafner, H., Schneider, G. and Tamrakar, R. 1983. Mountain hazards mapping in Nepal’s middle mountains: maps of land and geomorphic damages (Kathmandu-Kakani area).Mountain Research and Development,3(3): 195–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Mason, P. J. and Rosenbaum, M. S. 2002. Geohazard mapping for predicting landslides: an example from the Langhe Hills in Piemonte, NW Italy.Quarterly Journal of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology,35: 317–326.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Messerschmidt, D.A. 1990. Indigenous environmental management and adaptation: an introduction to four case studies from Nepal.Mountain Research and Development,10(1): 3–4.Google Scholar
  31. Nagaranjan, R., Mukherjee, A., Roy, A. and Khire, M.V. 1998. Temporal remote sensing data and GIS applications in landslide hazard zonation of part of the Western Ghats, India.International Journal of Remote Sensing,19: 573–585.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Owen, L.A., Sharma, M. and Bigwood, R. 1995a. Mass movement hazard in the Garhwal Himalaya: the effects of the 20th October 1991 Garhwal earthquake and the July–August monsoon season. In McGregor, D.F.M. and Thompson, D.A. (eds.).Geomorphology and Land Management in a Changing Environment. London, Wiley, 69–88.Google Scholar
  33. Owen, L.A., Benn, D.I., Derbyshire, E., Evans, D.J.A., Mitchell, W.A., Thompson, D., Richardson, S., Lloyd, M. and Holden, C. 1995b. The geomorphology and landscape evolution of the Lahul Himalaya, north India.Zeitschrift fur Geomorphologie,39(2): 145–174.Google Scholar
  34. Rickenmann, D. and Koch, T., 1997. Comparison of Debris Flow Modeling Approaches. In: Cheng-Lung Chen (Ed.),Debris flow hazards mitigation: mechanics, prediction and assessment, ASCE, 576–585.Google Scholar
  35. Rowbotham, D. and Dudycha, D. 1998. GIS modelling of slope stability in Phewa Tal watershed, Nepal.Geomorphologie,26: 151–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Saczuk, E. and Gardner, J. 2004. Modelling landslide hazards in the Kullu Valley.India using GIS and remote sensing. In press.Google Scholar
  37. Saczuk, E. and Gardner, J. 1998. GIS-based mapping and modelling of the debris flow hazards in Banff National Park.Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing,24: 54–59.Google Scholar
  38. Sah, M.P. and Mazari, R.K. 1998. Anthropogenically accelerated mass movement, Kulu Valley, Himachal Pradesh, India.Geomorphology,26(1–3): 123–138.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Saha, A.K., Gupta, R.P. and Arora, M.K. 2002. GIS-based landslide hazard zonation in the Bhagarithi (Ganga) Valley, Himalaya.International Journal of Remote Sensing,23(2): 357–369.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Sakar, S., Kanungo, D.P. and Mehrotra, G.S. 1995. Landslide hazard zonation: a case study in Garhwal Himalaya, India.Mountain Research and Development,15(4): 301–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Scott, A.S. and Walter, M.F. 1993. Local knowledge and conventional soil science approaches to erosional processes in the Shivalik Himalaya.Mountain Research and Development,13(1): 61–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Selby, M.J. 1982.Hillslope Materials and Processes. London, Oxford University Press, 264p.Google Scholar
  43. Shroder, J.F. and Bishop, M.P. 1998. Mass movement in the Himalaya: new insights and research directions.Geomorphology,26(1–3): 13–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Wang, S.Q. and Unwin, D.L. 1992. Modelling landslide distribution on loess soils in China: an investigation.International Journal of Geographical Information Systems,6(5): 391–405.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Wohl, E. E. 1998. Bedrock channel morphology in relation to erosional processes. In Rivers Over Rock: Fluvial Processes in Bedrock Channels. Ed. by K. Tinkler and E. Wohl.American Geophysical Union: Geophysical Monograph 107: 133–151.Google Scholar
  46. Zhou, C.H., Lee, C.F., Li, J. and Xu, Z.W. 2002. On the spatial relationship between landslides and causative factors on Lantau Island, Hong Kong.Geomorphology,43: 197–207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Zimmerman, M., Bischel, M. and Kienholz, H. 1986, Mountain hazards mapping in the Khumbu Himal, Nepal with prototype map scale 1:50,000.Mountain Research and Development,6(1): 29–40.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Institute of Moutain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Science Press 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • James S. Gardner
    • 1
  • Eric Saczuk
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environment and Geography and Natural Resources InstituteUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada

Personalised recommendations