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Predisposing factors and the mechanisms of rainfall-induced slope movements in Ugwueme, South-East Nigeria

  • Ogbonnaya IgweEmail author
Original Paper

Abstract

This research investigated the initiation and mobility of several landslides triggered by the 18–19 August 2008 rainfall in the Ugwueme area of Enugu State, Nigeria using a combination of field survey, satellite imagery and laboratory analyses. Among the landslides was a soil-slip slide that developed on a steep slope at the weathered sandstone-shale interface. While the mass movement (500 m in width) generated about 20,000 m3 which was displaced for about 50 m downslope, an adjacent, simultaneously-triggered slide of nearly equal width was subject to only a few meters displacement; these events provided valuable information on the conditions conducive to their occurrence and mobility. The weathered mass failed primarily due to the steep slopes located near fault planes and several slope faces hanging over the valley along joints, and the pore-water pressure buildup due to sustained, intense rainfall in the preceding days. A number of large scale fractures occurred around the landslides location. One of the fractures, an approximately N-S trending fault was observed to be closely associated with the failures. A major stream/river channel was observed to have terminated <2 km south of the landslide location. Whereas this stream may not have directly interfered with the failure site, a narrow tributary might have taken advantage of the fault plane to terminate at the point of failure. There was satisfactory agreement among the resulting maps, structural location data and field observations.

Keywords

Lineaments Satellite imagery Soil slip Compressibility South-east Nigeria 

Notes

Acknowledgments

I am delighted that the International Consortium on Landslides (ICL) under its International Program on Landslides (IPL) classified the Department of Geology, University of Nigeria as a World Centre of Excellence (WCoE) on Landslide Risk Reduction. The classification facilitated the present research. I wish to acknowledge my post-graduate students, department staff and laboratory technicians for their contributions to the work.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Geology, Faculty of Physical SciencesUniversity of NigeriaNsukkaNigeria

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