, Volume 13, Issue 3, pp 617–627 | Cite as

WCoE/IPL projects in West Africa: application of Landsat ETM+ and ASTER GDEM data in evaluating factors associated with long runout landslides in Benue hills, North-central Nigeria

  • Ogbonnaya IgweEmail author
  • Solomon Onwuka
  • Ifeanyi Oha
  • Okechukwu Nnebedum
ICL/IPL Activities


Under the WCoE/IPL project, Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper plus (ETM+) and ASTER GDEM data were used to analyze factors associated with frequent debris flow and rock-debris avalanche on the Nigeria-Cameroon mountain range. Detailed processing of the ETM+ imageries of the vulnerable portions on the western part of Adamawa plateau was carried out to identify structural trends relatable to the slope failures. The processing identified the structural characteristics of the study area and clearly distinguished the lineaments associated with the debris flow and rock-debris avalanches. The strongly weathered and fragmented gneissic rocks, shallow groundwater table, as well as the distribution of faults and joint sets were significant factors predisposing the slopes to rapid movements. Recent landslides occurred at the locations with high lineament density and in areas close to major faults and long lineaments. The interaction among the moving mass, slope geometry, local geology, topography, and drainage then resulted in a long runout and a high degree of spreading. Analysis of the ASTER–GDEM delineated landforms, slope morphology, and drainage patterns, which was not possible with conventional mapping techniques. Integration of these results yielded reasonable interpretation of the predisposing factors for the long runout failures and provided logical basis for future landslide susceptibility analysis in the area. Accurate investigation of the predisposing factors and characteristics of landslides in environments that have experienced past failures is therefore important in understanding areas that may be susceptible to landsliding in future.


Landsat ASTER-GDEM Landforms Lineaments Debris avalanche North-central Nigeria 



We are grateful for the support received from the International Consortium on Landslides who approved the research proposal for the Department of Geology, University of Nigeria, Nsukka under the World Centre of Excellence in Landslide Research. We are especially grateful to Professor Sassa Kyoji and members of the WCoE selection committee for accepting our proposal.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ogbonnaya Igwe
    • 1
    Email author
  • Solomon Onwuka
    • 1
  • Ifeanyi Oha
    • 1
  • Okechukwu Nnebedum
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Geology, Faculty of Physical SciencesUniversity of NigeriaNsukkaNigeria

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