Natural Hazards

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 111–134 | Cite as

A Methodology for Assessing Landslide Hazard Using Deterministic Stability Models

  • Vicki Moon
  • Hugh Blackstock


Deterministic stability models are used to assess the potential for mass movement within Hamilton City, New Zealand using sensitivity analysis for critical environmental variables. Discrete geomorphic zones are recognised on the basis of material properties and slope characteristics; generic slope profiles are derived for each of these zones by averaging slope profiles determined from a Digital Elevation Model. Stability analysis models are used to derive critical failure surfaces for these profiles using measured or estimated material properties, and sensitivity analysis allows the conditions of water table level and seismic acceleration under which the slopes become unstable to be determined. This method is applied to Hamilton City to assess the citywide hazard associated with mass movement. For the slopes studied, conditions of elevated water table alone may initiate failure, but this is seen as unlikely as the materials are well drained. Combinations of water tables above 10% of the slope elevation together with seismic accelerations of approximately 0.2 g (150 year return period) represent likely failure conditions for many slopes. This information provides emergency management planners with estimates of the likely extent of failure in different regions of the city, and hence facilitates identification of lifelines and infrastructure at risk. The method cannot provide site-specific information, but in combination with knowledge of cultural features gives indications of critical locations where detailed engineering assessments are required.

slope stability analysis landslide mass movement hazard assessment seismic acceleration alluvial sediment 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Vicki Moon
    • 1
  • Hugh Blackstock
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesThe University of WaikatoHamiltonNew Zealand

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