Natural Hazards

, Volume 66, Issue 2, pp 501–532 | Cite as

The relationship between geology and rock weathering on the rock instability along Mugling–Narayanghat road corridor, Central Nepal Himalaya

  • Amar Deep Regmi
  • Kohki Yoshida
  • Hidehisa Nagata
  • Ananta Man Singh Pradhan
  • Biswajeet PradhanEmail author
  • Hamid Reza Pourghasemi
Original Paper


The present study was conducted along the Mugling–Narayanghat road section and its surrounding region that is most affected by landslide and related mass-movement phenomena. The main rock types in the study area are limestone, dolomite, slate, phyllite, quartzite and amphibolites of Lesser Himalaya, sandstone, mudstone and conglomerates of Siwaliks and Holocene Deposits. Due to the important role of geology and rock weathering in the instabilities, an attempt has been made to understand the relationship between these phenomena. Consequently, landslides of the road section and its surrounding region have been assessed using remote sensing, Geographical information systems and multiple field visits. A landslide inventory map was prepared and comprising 275 landslides. Nine landslides representing the whole area were selected for detailed studies. Field surveys, integrated with laboratory tests, were used as the main criteria for determining the weathering zones in the landslide area. From the overall study, it is seen that large and complex landslides are related to deep rock weathering followed by the intervention of geological structures as faults, joints and fractures. Rotational types of landslides are observed in highly weathered rocks, where the dip direction of the foliation plane together with the rock weathering plays a principle role. Shallow landslides are developed in the slope covered by residual soil or colluviums. The rock is rather fresh below these covers. Some shallow landslides (rock topples) are related to the attitude of the foliation plane and are generally observed in fresh rocks. Debris slides and debris flows occur in colluviums or residual soil-covered slopes. In few instances, they are also related to the rock fall occurring at higher slopes. The materials from the rock fall are mixed with the colluviums and other materials lying on the slope downhill and flow as debris flow. Rock falls are mainly related to the joint pattern and the slope angle. They are found in less-weathered rocks. From all these, it is concluded that the rock weathering followed by geological structures has prominent role in the rock slope instability along Mugling–Narayanghat road section and its surrounding regions.


Himalaya Landslides Weathering Geographical information systems (GIS) Geological structures 



The authors express their gratitude to MEXT (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology; Japan) for funding for the present study. Also, the authors express their hearty thanks to the Department of Geology, Shinshu University, for providing the laboratory facilities for the analysis of collected rock and soil samples. Also, the authors would like to thank Ms. Shristi Bhusal, Mr. Bimal Raj Regmi and Ishan Bashyal for their great help during the field mapping of the landslide and in the collection of rock and soil samples, and Miss Yuka Shiga for her help during the preparation of samples for XRF analysis and in other laboratory work. Prof. Kuniaki Makina, Prof. Yasuyuki Miyake and Mr. Tatsuro Tsugane’s help during the laboratory work are highly acknowledged. Thanks to two anonymous reviewers and Prof. Thomas Glade for their valuable suggestions on the earlier version of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Amar Deep Regmi
    • 1
  • Kohki Yoshida
    • 1
  • Hidehisa Nagata
    • 2
  • Ananta Man Singh Pradhan
    • 3
  • Biswajeet Pradhan
    • 4
    Email author
  • Hamid Reza Pourghasemi
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Geology, Faculty of ScienceShinshu UniversityMatsumotoJapan
  2. 2.Fu Sui Do Co. Ltd.AichiJapan
  3. 3.Department of Electricity Development, Ministry of EnergyGovernment of NepalKathmanduNepal
  4. 4.Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Geospatial Information Science Research Centre (GISRC)University of Putra MalaysiaSerdangMalaysia
  5. 5.College of Natural Resources and Marine SciencesTarbiat Modares University (TMU)TehranIran

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