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Landslides: Processes, Prediction, and Land Use

ISBN: 978-0-87590-322-4
312 pages
January 2006, American Geophysical Union
Landslides: Processes, Prediction, and Land Use (0875903223) cover image


Published by the American Geophysical Union as part of the Water Resources Monograph Series, Volume 18.

Landslides are a constant in shaping our landscape. Whether by large episodic, or smaller chronic, mass movements, our mountains, hills, valleys, rivers, and streams bear evidence of change from landslides. Combined with anthropogenic factors, especially the development and settlement of unstable terrain, landslides (as natural processes) have become natural disasters.

This book charts our understanding of landslide processes, prediction methods, and related land use issues. How and where do landslides initiate? What are the human and economic consequences? What hazard assessment and prediction methods are available, and how well do they work? How does land use, from timber harvesting and road building to urban and industrial development, affect landslide distribution in time and space? And what is the effect of land use and climate change on landslides?

This book responds to such questions with:

• Synopses of how various land uses and management activities influence landslide behavior

• Analyses of earth surface processes that affect landslide frequency and extent

• Examples of prediction techniques and methods of landslide hazard assessment, including scales of application

• Discussion of landslide types and related costs and damages

Those who study landslides, and those who deal with landslides, from onset to after-effects—including researchers, engineers, land managers, educators, students, and policy makers—will find this work a benchmark reference, now and for years to come.

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Table of Contents

Preface  vii

1. Introduction and Overview of Landslide Problems  1

Overall Significance of Landslides  2

Distribution of Landslide Hazards Worldwide  9

Loss of Human Life  10

Economic Consequences  13

Examples of Detailed Economic Analyses of Landslide Damages  15

Other Environmental Impacts  20

2. Characteristics of Various Types of Landslides  23

Classification Systems  23

Broad Functional Categorization of Mass Wasting Processes  24

3. Natural Factors Influencing Landslides  41

Geological Factors  41

Geomorphic Factors  55

Hydrologic Factors 67

Seismicity  110

Volcanic Activity 117

4. Landslide Analysis  121

Analysis of Stresses Within Slopes and Initiation Mechanisms of Landslides  121

Quantifying Landslide Trigger Mechanisms  124

Primary Causes of Landslides  129

Problems in Applying Theoretical Stability Analysis to Natural Hillslopes 134

Hazard Assessment and Prediction Methods  139

Overview of Techniques and Methodologies  139

Terrain Hazard Mapping  139

Simple Rainfall-Landslide and Earthquake-Landslide Relationships  145

Multi-Factor, Empirical Landslide Hazard Assessment 150

Distributed, Physically Based Models 155

Overview of Landslide Hazard Assessment and Prediction Methods 160

Land Use and Global Change 163

Timber Harvesting  163

Roads and Other Transportation Corridors  183

Conversion of Forests to Agricultural Lands and Plantations  203

Management Effects  203

Control and Avoidance Practices Amidst the Politics  206

Steepland Grazing and Grasslands 209

Management Effects 209

Avoidance and Control Practices 211

Fire  213

Management Effects  213

Avoidance and Control Practices  216

Urban, Residential, and Industrial Development  217

Background and Vulnerability  217

Direct Effects  219

Avoidance and Mitigation Measures  223

Urban planning and regulation 224

Control and mitigation measures  229

Mining  230

Tourism and Recreation  235

Global Climate Change 236

7. Summary 239

Notation 243

References  247

Index 307

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