Abe Barek Landslide and Landslide Susceptibility Assessment in Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan (2015)

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Landslide is one of the most widely distributed mass movements in mountainous areas. With its wide spreading, abrupt, and seasonal characteristics, landslide always causes huge risks towards transportation, human settlements, industrial and mining plants, water resources facilities, and hydropower stations. Abe Barek landslide, which happened in the morning of May 2, 2014, in Ago District, Badakhshan Province, Afghanistan, buried 86 houses and took the lives of almost 2700 people. Many factors triggered the occurrence of this disaster. Firstly, the landslide-impacted area has a complex geologic structure that bears concentrated faults with mountain slopes covered by thick loess. Secondly, at the time of landslide, a continuous rainfall had deepened the level of moisture in the loess layer, which made the loess mass heavier and changed the soil body’s mechanical properties. Thirdly, a similar landslide once happened on the same slope, which destroyed the land cover and transformed the topology of the slope. In addition, farming and irrigating activities may have also affected the stability of loess mass in this area. Upon an initial examination of landslide distribution in Badakhshan Province by using high-resolution remote sensing images from Google Earth, a total number of 609 landslide sites were identified in this area, and a landslide susceptibility assessment was completed by utilizing weight-of-evidence method. Several suggestions on landslide risk reduction in this remote mountainous area are proposed at the end of this paper.
Year: 2015
Language: English
In: Landslides 12 (3): 597-609

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