Landslide: causes, effects and control

Author: 
B.O Ubechu and O.C. Okeke

Landslide occurs in various forms and vary in mode, scale and frequency. It also occurs in different environments. The various types of landslide can be differentiated by the kinds of material involved and the mode of movement. The primary cause of landslide is the influence of gravity on weakened material that make up a sloping area of land. Other factors that may cause landslide can be categorized in the following areas: geological factors, morphological factors, physical factors and factors associated with human activities. The impacts of landslide is felt on our natural environment which includes, the topography/morphology of both the sub-aerial and submarine surfaces of the earth, rivers, streams forest and grassland and the habitats of native fauna both on the Earth and in the streams and oceans. The effects of landslide on humans and engineering structures can be lessened by total avoidance of landslide hazard areas or by restricting, prohibiting or imposing safety conditions on hazard – zone activity. Land policies and regulations can also be used to reduce the effects of landslides. Education on past hazard history, consultation with engineering departments and planning unit of the government agencies can help in reducing landslide effects. Prevention of landslide can be achieved by constructing various man made structures on slopes which are vulnerable to landslides. This mitigative measures must be designed to fit the condition of the specific slope under study.

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