Environmental Geology

, Volume 58, Issue 3, pp 567–586 | Cite as

Comparative analysis of contributing parameters for rainfall-triggered landslides in the Lesser Himalaya of Nepal

  • Ranjan Kumar DahalEmail author
  • Shuichi Hasegawa
  • Minoru Yamanaka
  • Santosh Dhakal
  • Netra Prakash Bhandary
  • Ryuichi Yatabe
Original Article


In the Himalaya, people live in widely spread settlements and suffer more from landslides than from any other type of natural disaster. The intense summer monsoons are the main factor in triggering landslides. However, the relations between landslides and slope hydrology have not been a focal topic in Himalayan landslide research. This paper deals with the contributing parameters for the rainfall-triggered landslides which occurred during an extreme monsoon rainfall event on 23 July 2002, in the south-western hills of Kathmandu valley, in the Lesser Himalaya, Nepal. Parameters such as bedrock geology, geomorphology, geotechnical properties of soil, and clay mineralogy are described in this paper. Landslide modeling was performed in SEEP/W and SLOPE/W to understand the relationship of pore water pressure variations in soil layers and to determine the spatial variation of landslide occurrence. Soil characteristics, low angle of internal friction of fines in soil, medium range of soil permeability, presence of clay minerals in soil, bedrock hydrogeology, and human intervention were found to be the main contributing parameters for slope failures in the region.


Rainfall-triggered landslides Himalaya Clay minerals Seepage analysis Stability analysis 



The authors would like to thank relatives of victims of the Matatirtha landslide for their cooperation in field investigations. We are grateful to M.Sc. students (2002 batch) of the Central Department of Geology, Tribhuvan University, for providing help in field work. We thank Mr. Pradeep Paudyal, Mr. Amar Chand, Mr. Kangada Prasai and Mr. Hari Kadel for their help in the collection of field data. We also acknowledge local community forest user groups for providing permission to enter the forest for investigation. We thank Mr. Bhoj Raj Pantha, Mr. Anjan Kumar Dahal and Ms. Seiko Tsuruta for their technical support during the preparation of this paper. The study was partially funded by the Sasakawa Fund for Scientific Research, The Japan Science Society.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ranjan Kumar Dahal
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Shuichi Hasegawa
    • 1
  • Minoru Yamanaka
    • 1
  • Santosh Dhakal
    • 3
  • Netra Prakash Bhandary
    • 4
  • Ryuichi Yatabe
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Safety Systems Construction Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringKagawa UniversityTakamatsuJapan
  2. 2.Department of Geology, Tri-Chandra Multiple CampusTribhuvan UniversityGhantagharNepal
  3. 3.Department of Mines and GeologyKathmanduNepal
  4. 4.Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringEhime UniversityMatsuyamaJapan

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