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Effect of Natural Hazards on Types of


Abdoullah Namdar and Fadzil Mat Yahaya

Faculty of Civil Engineering & Earth Resources, Universiti Malaysia Pahang

To improve human settlement, the behavior of geo-hazard requires to be investigated. The
geological, geotechnical and geomorphological of site, plays important role in
occurrence of landslide. The rainfall, earthquake, erosion, tectonic features, major uplift,
hurricanes, construction activities, sand/silt boiling air, volcanic gases, impulsive waves,
and snowmelt are among the important factor in trigger of landslide. Authors made an
attempt to review landslide phenomenon with consideration some important factors in
trigger types of landslide.
Keywords: Geo-hazard, Landslide, trigger of landslide, types of landslide.

The recent improvement investigation finding has been made near clear understanding in
landslide, although much progress in reconnaissance is required be realize research priorities
and summarizing requirement knowledge. The earthquake, triggered landsliding in saturated
soil is a challenge of research in earthquake geotechnical engineering. The multidisciplinary
from engineering geology, geomorphology, geotechnical engineering, seismology,
hydrogeology and geophysics are required for solving and predicting geo-hazard mitigation
and disaster management. To improve human settlement, the geo-hazard mitigation has to be
investigated in detail.
It has been shown that the significant impact of landslide on landscape, regional and
urban planning (Varnes, 1984; Anbalagan et al., 2008; Korup et al., 2010). The landslide is
accelerated during rainy season in mountainous area due to heavy rainfall and severe rain
storms subsequently caused destruction of infrastructure, environmental degradation and
loosing life (Aleotti and Chowdhury, 1999; NCDR, 2004; Chen, 2009; Bui et al., 2011a; Song
et al., 2012). For example Morakot of Taiwan faces big amount of rainfall over 3400 mm
estimated annually. And sometimes extreme amount of rainfall not only caused severe
flooding in coastal areas, and also triggered landslides (Lin et al., 2011), the dam site is
generally located in valley and it is associated with potential landslide (Schuster, 2006), due
to over surcharge during heavy rain. Earthquake can induce landslide and in the Peruvian
earthquake of 31 May 1970 around half the 54,000 victims were due to a landslide (Kuroiwa
et al., 1973; Keefer, 2002; Yin et al., 2009; Chigira et al., 2010; Dai et al., 2011;), the
Terremoto delle Calabrie” earthquake in southern Italy is induced landslide (Sarconi, 1784).
The erosion and tectonic features are triggering landslide (Bozzano et al., 2008). The
tectonic features are prone to the landslides particularly in metamorphic rocks crop out, due to
the extent of fracture and reduction of shear strength of the rocks (Conforti et al., 2014). The
major uplift change site geomorphology and relocate clay sediment to the surface and due to

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changing subsoil shear strength and drainage capability the landslide is expecting (Leroueil,
1997; Ma et al., 1999). The hurricanes is triggering landslide in submarine and imposed high
risk to offshore structures (Mulder and Alexander, 2001). The 1999 Chi-Chi, Taiwan
earthquake (Mw=7.6) caused in triggering around 26,000 landslides, over 2400 deaths and
many casualties (Wang et al., 2002). The Cameroon is facing landslides periodically, and
resulted in the loss of lives, flooding, failure of the transportation network, degradation of
agricultural land, and collapse to infrastructure (Che et al., 2012). And many other part of
world like are faced landslide frequently (North and Byrne, 1965; Guzzetti et al., 1999;
Pradhan, 2010a; Preuth et al., 2010; Lin et al., 2010; Burns et al., 2011). It has been reported
that China, Japan and Nepal have average over 150 deaths annually from direct and indirect
landslide hazards. And landslides in Canada, the United States, Japan and India bring huge
economic costs annually (Sidle and Ochiai, 2006). Due to landslide occurrence in many part
of the world for that especial attention given to issue by Holmes and the World Bank, while
there is an underestimation of landslide impact to the fact, subsequently United States
Geological Survey indicated that the landslides destructive effect may exceed all other losses
by natural hazard” (USGS, 2003). An attempt on landslide phenomenon with consideration
some important factors in occurrence types of landslide helps to improve human settlement
and mitigate geo-hazard. It is aimed to present suitable review on landslide in order to
minimize landslide effect on human life, in attention to current issues and future challenges
priorities in next generation of research.

Table 1: The some important landslides from 1949 till 2009

Landslide Place Date Economical effect Trigger Type of slide Function Ref
Area of 0.95 km2 was
Approximately 7200 Liquefaction due to Rockslide and loess
Khait of Tajikistan July 1949 overwhelmed by debris (Evans et al., 2009)
people killed earthquake flowslides
and 20 kishlaks buried

about 2000 casualties and

9 October (Bosa and Petti,
Vajont in Northern Italy valley Unknown Sliding Destructive water wave
1963 2011; Datei, 2003)
complete destroyed

(Gerardi et al.,
Calabria region in 6 February
1500 casualties Main seismic shock Rockslide and rockfall Disastrous tsunami 2008; Bozzano et
southern Italy 1783
al., 2011)

Tal valley of Garhwal Late January Rotation and slump (Bartarya and Sah,
- Uplift Shattered river bed
Himalaya in India 1990 movement 1995)

A rotational slide with a

Industrial sewage and
Eastern Belgium Late 1990s Infrastructural damaged circular shear Continued landslide (Preuth et al., 2010)

Huashiban 28 October Mw 7.0 Earthquake and Liangjiaren Hydropower

- Rockslide (Zhou et al., 2010)
slope, Southwest China 1996 rainfall Station under risk

High death toll and In most cases were over 450 (Pallas et al., 2004;
NW Nicaragua October 1998 Hurricanes
damaging properties debris flows landslides Guinau et al., 2005)

Destroyed 120 houses and Minor earth tremor on (Ayonghe et al.,
Mount Cameroon, West 27 June 2001 planar sliding or mud flows Flooding
2800 people homeless volcanic cones 2004)

Moravian of 27 March to 4 Trigger several shallow (Bíl and Müller,

- Rainfall and thawing -
Czech Republic April 2006 landslides 2008)

7 July Around 200 people

Sichuan of China rainfall of 521.6 mm Debris flow Debris flowed (Zhang et al., 2011)
2007 homeless

(Collins et al., 2012;

Destruction of road and
Kashiwazaki of Japan 16 July 2007 Mw 6.6 Earthquake - - Kayen et
railway sections.
al., 2009)

(Tang et al., 2011;

Ms 8.0 Earthquake, blocked drainage and
Wenchuan in Beichuan, Rockslide, rockfalls, debris Yin et al., 2009;
12 May 2008 More than 20,000 fatalities rainfall, uplift and formed
China flows and debris slides Gorum et al., 2011;
erosion landslide dams
Ouimet, 2010)

More than 400 people (Hsieh et al., 2012;

Rockslide and rockfall destructive water wave
Southern Taiwan 7 August 2009 killed, dammed the river rainfall of 1676.5 mm Tsou et al., 2011)
due to dam-breaching
and buried village

widespread erosion and

37 fatalities, 31 people shallow soil slide and (Mondini et al.,
Sicily of Italy 1 October 2009 Rainfall modification of the
death and 6 missed debris flow 2011)
Vol. 19 [2014], Bund. G 1521


The extensive sediment from erosion process has been accumulated in vessel and it is
decreased drainage capability and accelerated heavy erosion on slope side beneath vessel due
to heavy rainfall water over flow when the vessel drainage not work under appropriate
condition, in this case the rainfall and over flow from drainage system are important factors in
erosion quantity. The shear crack appeared on vessel body due to reducing subsoil shear
strength and subsoil differential settlement, subsequently resulted in failure of drainage
facility (figure 1). The soil shear strength is imposed by drainage capacity and vessel self-
weight. The area of vegetation-less more vulnerable on erosion and make more suitable slope
for sliding and flowing debris. In figure 1 part 5 and 6 show the heavy erosion resulted in
changing site geomorphology. The appropriate vegetation cultivation helps in enhancing
slope safety factor as well as stabilization site geomorphology. It may be recommended that
the naturally slope stabilization from suitable vegetation cultivate is more permanent and help
in improving environment. Water tends to seep fast in loose layers. In clay layer the amount
of water flow velocity is depend on bonding between silica and alumina sheets of clay
mineral. In montmorillonite bond between silica and alumina are very weak and water easily
enter between layers and caused swelling and impermeability of layer. The illite and kaolinite
have stronger bonding between silica and alumina sheets, it is caused less swelling and
impermeability. The bond between silica and alumina are controlled time for increasing
degree of saturation if the bond between silica and alumina strong the increasing degree of
saturation are need more time compare to weak bonding. The soil mineralogy is important
factor in erosion caused landslide. The landslide accelerates during heavy rainfall, with in site
subjects to erosion with respect mineralogy types. According to (Cevik and Topal, 2003; Dai
et al., 2001; Saha et al., 2002; Yalcin, 2008) the slope instability effect by drainage systems,
as river erosion undercuts the foot of the slopes together with saturation of their lower part. In
landslide mitigation requires to investigation soil texture, mineralogy and morphology.
Significant challenges regarding pore water behavior in accelerating positive pore water
pressure and creating liquefied zone and layer which can be applied suitable mitigation
technique are include:
- High cost of lithology and subsoil mineralogy investigation.
- Incomplete coverage of area is vulnerable against liquefaction.
- Imperfect geological, geotechnical and geomorphological data leading to errors in
selecting suitable mitigation technique.
Vol. 19 [2014], Bund. G 1522

Figure 1: High quantity erosion in neighboring University Malaysia Pahang (UMP),

make site to landslide susceptibility


Some of factors increase the pore water pressure is ground shaking, soil moisture
condition, soil morphology, soil mineralogy, flow speed, and hydraulic conductivity.
The material mechanical property is changed from unsaturated state to saturated state and
induced internal stress while the friction angle is varied according to water content and the
cohesive force reduces substantially and resulted in plastic deformation and it changes from
static frictional strength to lower dynamic strength. The landslide is situated in the rainstorm
center. Most of the precipitation occurs during increasing underground level (Qi, 2006).
Excess pore water pressure in subsoil occurs due to rainfall, earthquakes, coastal erosion, and
construction activities (Bull et al., 1994). The pore water pressure has been analyzed for slope
stability of the landslide dam (Chen, 2011). The sand/silt boiling accelerates excess pore
water pressure and liquefying subsoil and expect sliding slope in subsoil. And in rock slope
the saturation don’t have important role (Evans et al., 2009). Under dynamic condition with
seepage, the water is isotropic medium with elastic and incompressible behavior, in such
condition the excess pore water pressure is in relation to the plastic material inertial
displacement, deformation and confined loads. And the numerical model does not simulate
excess seismic pore water pressure. While the frequency has important role in controlling
excess pore water pressure (Martino and Mugnozza, 2006).
The high groundwater level in subsoil make environment suitable for high pore-water
pressure and liquefying subsoil, it results shear strength reach to less than shear stress.
The degree of saturation in soil is responsible for many landslides, but still several
landslides can be seen when the soil is under dry condition. According to the Legros
(2002) air, water, vapor, and volcanic gases can cased fluidize landslide.
Vol. 19 [2014], Bund. G 1523

The large rockslides can be started by pore-water pressure. And submarine landslides and
rockslides may generate impulsive waves (Ataie-Ashtiani and Najafi-Jilani, 2008; Schulz et
al., 2012), such wave accelerate excess pore water pressure in the subsoil and resulted in slide
instability and reducing factor of safety. Galve et al., (2009) identified some large slides are
triggered due to water level variations in reservoirs, and it is depend on distance of reservoirs,
which is very important in hazard risk assessment. Ayalew et al., (2005) are realized that
landslides occur when additional moisture is induced during rainfall and snowmelt. Borgatti
and Soldati (2010) climate change increased landslide. It can be understand that the
gravitational force, and shear resistance of soil is changed. Lo et al., (2011) have been
indicated that the due to increasing degree of saturation in soil and under liquefaction
condition the effective stress and the shear resistance almost drops to zero, although low
friction along the sliding surface is the reduction of effective friction coefficient because of
pore-fluid pressure. Malet et al., (2005) has been declared slope failure process from starting
landslide up to end sufficiently high pore-pressure to reduce the effective stresses is required.
The water stored in sensitive layers influences on slope stability (Preuth et al., 2010), It is
due to the pore-water pressure data is important factor in landslide (Ohlemacher, 2007), and it
has to more investigate. The pore water pressure can change shear strength and shear stress,
duing rainfall (Crozier, 2010). The ephemeral stream in hill in rainy season is a factor for
water level (Che et al., 2011). The rainfall plays an important factor in reduce the soil suction
and increase the positive pore-water pressures (Corominas and Moya, 2008), the history of
rainfall can help in predicting pore water pressure in subsoil for mitigate seasonal landslide
disaster. This point has to consider in urban design, site planning and infrastructure planning
improving factor of safety. Schulz et al., (2012) has been find that rockslides not occurred
from gravitational loading and rising pore-water pressures. The rockslide formed from rising
pore-water pressures caused by seismic force.


Data-mining is introduced by Shannon (1948). Landslides occur under water, in lakes,
seas, and the oceans (Mosher et al., 2010). To investigate on landslide mechanisms
monitoring required high accuracy in order to better mitigate natural all hazards including
liquefaction. The liquefaction may be generated in form of static or dynamic which is
depending on nature of pore water pressure. However the precise research works consumes
time and requires especial attention in all stages for avoiding produce poor information. The
liquefaction is triggering landslide.
Based on resolution requirement several techniques of remote sensing have been
introduced to create digital terrain models (DTMs) for investigation on landslides
(Metternicht et al., 2005). The application of key technique in landslide prediction is
interesting issue in international scientific committee (Zhu et al., 2004; Wang and Niu, 2010).
In landslide prediction using mapping technique the several independent factors related to the
landslides have been investigated such as slope geometry, land use, soil using, landslide
hazard assessment map, rock and soil strength, slope geometry, permeability, precipitation,
presence of the old landslides, proximity to the streams and flood-prone areas, land use
patterns, excavation of lower slopes and/or increasing the load on upper slopes, alteration of
surface and subsurface drainage, engineering rock group, reservoir water fluctuation,
geological structure, stratum, lithology, terrain, geomorphology, vegetation coverage, rainfall,
human activities, elevation, topographic-wetness index, stream-power index, bedding attitude,
seismicity, stream evolution, groundwater conditions, climate, vegetation cover, relief
amplitude, distance to roads, distance to rivers, distance to faults, drainage density,
Paleotopography in Quaternary sedimentary environments, material, effective thickness,
forest and soil texture (Guzzetti et al., 2000; Dai and Lee, 2002; Gokceoglu et al., 2005;
Vol. 19 [2014], Bund. G 1524

Jamaludin et al., 2006; Pan et al., 2008; Yeon et al., 2010; Chauhan et al., 2010; Wang and
Niu, 2010; Bui et al., 2011a; Bièvre et al., 2011; Xu et al., 2012; Cheng et al., 2012; Bui et al.,
2012; Piacentini et al., 2012) still several factors have been left for precise understanding
fundamental of landslide prediction.


The numerical simulation of landslide is investigated (Tinti et al., 2006). The landslide
has been modeled based on measuring acceleration (Watts, 1998), the produced date is
applicable for reconstruct velocity (Watts et al., 2000). The landslides characteristics such as
frequency, magnitude and consequences are important for hazard risk assessment (Stefanini,
2004; Gorsevski et al., 2006). The modeling natural hazards result in acceptable mitigation
(Abadie et al., 2010).
To propose mitigation technique for slope failure, there are several factor caused
landslide and rockslide.

Figure 3: Rockslide on Road into Beichuan, China. Photo was taken around
October 21, 2008 (Photo by Dave Wald, U.S. Geological Survey).
Vol. 19 [2014], Bund. G 1525

Figure 4: Photo of a large rock dislodged by earthquake shaking, due to the 2008,
May 12 Sichuan/Wenchuan Earthquake. The rock fell near the epicentral area (Photo
by Lynn Highland, U.S. Geological Survey).

Several recommendations are indicated here incorporate to discussions have been

presented for identifying research priorities for mitigate landslide hazard. It will coverage
appropriate next research generation.
Analysis of void ratio in triggering landslide in unsaturated soil and comparison its effect
with linear and nonlinear pore water pressures in saturated soil.
The pore water pressure in linear shape produced from seismic force, it is able to generate
stress more than strength of slope material. The static or linear pore water pressure collapse
whole or partially slope. The climate change is an important issue in producing static pore
water pressure and required to be more investigate. Among the factors produced landslide the
soil degree of saturation, flow speed, permeability coefficient, internal stress in soil mass,
friction angle of soil mass, soil cohesive, soil natural displacement, soil natural deformation
and soil suction are will be change due to climate change and require to be investigate
perfectly in detail.
Identify liquefiable layer and zone, and liquefaction magnitude movement for realize
landslide zone and slope stability assessment.
As mentioned many factors have been investigated to predict landslide, the liquefaction
zonation, wave propagation in subsoil zonation due to soil and rock mineralogy and
morphology and tsunami have to be investigates in order to find acceptable mitigation
method. Understand slope potential failure in respect to allowable settlement and deformation
to comparative mitigation techniques. The numerical simulation, experimental and physical
landslides are required to be compared for near accurate failure mechanism interpretation.
Vol. 19 [2014], Bund. G 1526


• The several factors cause landslide including rainfall, earthquake, erosion ….. have
• Quantitative erosion due to rainfall and rainstorm have to be assess in performed at the
landslide potentially affected areas, based on the observation of past landslide events as
well as soil engineering properties.
• None appropriate drainage infrastructures accelerate erosion and it is resulted in
collapsing drainage infrastructure as well as occurrence of landslide under heavy
• The mineralogy investigation is shown that there is close relationship between soil
mineralogy with amount of erosion, workability of drainage facility and landslide

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