Possible Evolution of Niches and Trends
Discontinuities play a major role in the slope stability of rocks. The geological material of Bamiyan presents a main pattern of discontinuities that were likely generated during excavation of the valley from the river, as a consequence of the absence of lateral support. More recently also, the explosion produced new fractures in rocks that were well localized in the niches, as well as enlarging pre-existing fractures. Concerning the stability of rock masses, the genesis of discontinuities is marginally relevant: If they exist they might play a role in possible collapse, otherwise they would not. The impact of the March 2001 explosion has been only marginally investigate because it caused rock falls in the niches and triggered a possible further collapse of the eastern side of the Eastern Giant Buddha niche. The collapse of the statues is not discussed in this chapter.