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Geological Prerequisites for Landslide Dams’ Disaster Assessment and Mitigation in Central Asia

  • Alexander Strom
Chapter
Part of the Environmental Science and Engineering book series (ESE)

Abstract

Landslide dams’ hazard assessment aimed to disaster mitigation requires knowledge of the origin of hazardous phenomena, its triggering factors, magnitude, spatial distribution, recurrence, as well as characteristics of their possible secondary and tertiary effects. These hazards identification and quantification can be derived from detail geological and geomorphic study of the present and past river-damming landslides and related phenomena such as evidence of outburst floods. Several historical catastrophes that occurred in the Central Asian region due to formation and/or breach of landslide dams are described briefly and case studies demonstrating various manifestations of landslide damming in the Central Asia region are discussed with special emphasis on those topics, which still remain unsolved or controversial. These are: (1) the landslide versus moraine interpretation of the Pamirs’ natural blockages origin, (2) the relationship between formation of large-scale bedrock landslides and seismicity, which is critically important for both landslide and seismic hazard assessment, (3) morphological and structural peculiarities of large-scale bedrock landslides—the main type of river-blocking slope failures that predetermine magnitude of river damming, its longevity and character and rate of dams’ breach. The importance of the detailed study of the past breached dams, as the analogues of the existing and future hazardous blockages is discussed in the conclusive remarks.

Keywords

Landslide dam Inundation Dam breach Outburst flood Landslide hazard assessment 

Notes

Acknowledgments

My work on landslide dams in the Central Asia regions was supported by the International Program on Landslides (IPL) Projects M111, M126 and C106-2, by NATO Science for Peace LADATSHA Project “Prevention of Landslide Dam Disasters in the Tien Shan, Kyrgyz Republic”, and by the GEF/UNEP/UNU PALM Project “Sustainable Land Management in the High Pamir and Pamir-Alai Mountains”. Field work in the Tien Shan would be impossible without continuous support of Dr. Kanatbek Abdrakhmatov and his colleagues from Kyrgyz Institute of Seismology. I also want to thank my colleagues from Hydroproject Dr. Anatoly Zhirkevich, Dr. Ivan Lobodenko, Mr. Danil Remeniak and Ms. Natalia Pribylova for useful discussions and Prof. Fawu Wang for his suggestion to write this article and thorough review of the manuscript.

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Geodynamic Research Center—Branch of JSCHydroproject InstituteMoscowRussia

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