Evaluation of landslide hazards at Herth, Chitral, Pakistan

Abstract

The main purpose of this paper was to evaluate landslide hazards at Herth, Chitral, Pakistan. Based on a comprehensive cross-disciplinary research methodology, it was found that the geology of the area is complex with deformations in various directions. In a semiarid climate (BSk), large variations in rainfall (80 mm in spring and 8 mm in summer) and temperature (− 1 °C in January and 35 °C in July) affect the temporal distribution of landslides in the area. Overlaying weak weathered rocks, the 6–12 m thick soft soils exhibit up to 8-m-deep tension cracks and several shallow slope failures. Likewise, the high-relief mountains (2235–3155 m) mainly face southwards (40%) and northwards (35%) with 58% areas at inclinations of 15°–45° and 39% area with up to 15° slopes. The surface soils are mainly clayey sands with occasional silts and remain unsaturated due to high drainage in the field. The stress–strain behavior is identical to loose sands with the residual friction angle close to the peak value (32°–34°) indicating the lowest possible shear strength. Finally, the landslide areas have generally increased from 1985 through 2014 for Karimabad (0.32–0.84 km2), Ajrandeh (0.3–0.74 km2) and Shah (0.13–0.42 km2).

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to acknowledge the financial support provided by Focus Humanitarian Assistance Pakistan. Thanks to the National Centre of Excellence in Geology, University of Peshawar, Pakistan, for providing laboratory space and field logistics.

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Correspondence to Shahid Azam.

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Hafeez, S., Ahmed, W., Azam, S. et al. Evaluation of landslide hazards at Herth, Chitral, Pakistan. Innov. Infrastruct. Solut. 4, 13 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s41062-019-0197-0

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Keywords

  • Landslide hazards
  • Geology and climate
  • Site investigations
  • Geotechnical testing