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Managing Landslide Hazard Risk in

Sub Tropical Countries


Keith Tovey
Reader in Environmental Sciences,
HSBC Director of Low Carbon Innovation.
University of East Anglia,
Norwich, UK, NR4 7TJ
Acknowledgements:
British Council,
University of East Anglia,
University of West Indies (Trinidad)
Hong Kong Government
Major Landslide at Maracas, Trinidad - Late December 2002.

Managing Landslide Hazard Risk in Sub


Tropical Countries
Introduction
Modelling Methods
Engineering Models
GIS Methods
Statistical Methods
Management Issues
Conclusions

Landslides: Introduction

Consequences of Landslides
Injury
Death
Economic Loss
Disruption to Transport Links
Landslide
Preventive
Measures

Design
Cost
Build

Stability Assessment
Temporarily
Safe

Safe at the moment

Landslide
Warning

Landslide
Consequence

Remedial Measures

Remove Consequence
3

Landslides: Removing the Consequence


Manchester

Main
Manchester
Sheffield
Road (A625)
Alternative route only suitable for light
vehicles gradient of 1 in 4
1 km

Landslides: Removing the Consequence

Landslides in Kowloon East 28th - 31st May 1982

Landslides: Engineering Modelling Methods


Mans Influence (Agriculture /Development)

Geology
Hydrology
Landslide
Preventive
Measures

Design
Cost
Build

Material Properties
(Shear Strength)

Slope Angle
Loading

Stability Assessment
Temporarily
Safe

Landslide
Warning

But only for specific slopes

Safe at the moment

Remedial Measures

Landslide
Consequence
Remove Consequence6

Landslides: Engineering Modelling Methods


Applicable to very specific locations only
Can have moderate to good accuracy for spatial
predictions where information exists
Moderate accuracy for temporal predictions (good if
accurate ground water temporal variations are
available)
Poor for overall spatial coverage
Is costly to implement.

But one must not be complacent


7

berms

Landslides: GIS Modelling Methods

Hydrology

Geology

Soil Type

General Slope
(and aspect)

Land Use

Cataloguing slopes
and landslides
Database of existing
Landslides

Classification into potential


Areas of Risk

Identification of areas for


detailed Engineering Study

General Planning Guidelines


of Landslide Risk
9

Landslides: GIS Modelling Methods


Good spatial (geographic) coverage of
likelihood of landslides
Poor to moderate prediction of precise
locations of landslides
Effective use of resources
Poor accuracy for temporal predictions
i.e. precisely when landslides occur

Accuracy is dependant on existence of a good


unbiassed database of landslides and slopes

10

Landslides: Categorisation of Slopes


e.g. North Coast Road, Trinidad
Cut Slope
Natural Slope
Fill Slope

Retaining Wall
11

Landslide at Maracas
December 2002

December 2004 note


the slide is much more
extensive
12

December 9th
Landslide
3 km beyond Las Cuevas
as seen on TV
half of road blocked

Landslide 11th December


2004 at approximately
13:00
1 km before Las Cuevas
half of road blocked
13

Slope before failure at


Couva

Slope after Landslide

Slide by Derek Gay, UWI

14

Landslides: GIS Modelling Methods:


Requirements for the future

Landslides
triggered by
Cut Slopes
anthropogenic
Fill Slopes
activity
Retaining Walls
Hybrids: Cut/Retaining Wall / Fill/Retaining Wall
Deep seated
Natural Slopes - is there a better word?
landslide unaffected
slopes where there has been no anthropogenic
activity, or
by anthropogenic
where there is such activity it causes small
changes to the
activity
geometry of the slope so that the Factor of Safety is
largely unaffected.

15

Landslides: Statistical Methods


Rainfall Data

Historical Database of
Landslide Occurrence
Research to correlate
Rainfall with Landslide
Incidence
Antecedent
Rainfall

Current/ Predicted
Rainfall
Prediction of exactly when
landslides are likely to occur

Issue warnings to
affected people

Mobilise Emergency
Teams

Aim: to minimise injury and loss of life

16

Landslides: Statistical Methods


Landslide Warning System
Poor prediction for spatial location of Landslides.
Potentially effective use of resources to minimise
death and injury.
Moderate ability to predict when landslides are likely
to occur.
Requires automatic recording of rainfall over short
periods of time (e.g. 5 15 minute intervals).
Requires a robust historic database of landslides and
associated rainfall.
Method aims to alert people to impending danger so
they can seek safety during critical periods it will not
prevent landslides

17

Rain Gauge Network in Hong Kong

Built Up Areas

18

Landslides: Management
Hong Kong Approach
Historically: Reactive Approach to Landslides
Similar to present situation in Trinidad and Tobago

From 1977 onwards:


approach became progressively more pro-active
Proactive Control of all New Developments
> Engineering / Geotechnical Control

Categorisation of Slopes and Landslides


> Develop a Robust Database
> Identify critical issues and areas affected: GIS
> Planning Policies
> Identification of Critical regions for Preventative Measures
Development of Landslide Warning System.
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Landslides: Management

Click once on Slope to display data for 11SW-A/CR175

Slope Catalogue: Slope 11SW-A/CR175: Po Shan Road

20

Landslides: Management

Centred Map for Cut Slope 11SW-A/CR175: Po Shan Road

21

Background Information And Related Document


Feature Reference Number
11SW-A/CR 175
GIU Cell Ref.
11SW7D8 - NKTs Classification still in use!
Location
18M NORTH OF 21 PO SHAN ROAD
Sift Class
C1
Map Sheet Reference (1:1000) 11SW- 7D
Coordinates

Easting : 832718 Northing : 815676

Aerial Photos

Photo No.

Year

1824-5

1972

Nearest Raingauge Station


(Station Number)
Data Collected On
Date of Construction, Subsequent
Modification & Demolition

Knowles Building, Hong Kong University (H04)


11/14/97
N/A

Related Reports/Files or Documents File/Report

Ref. No

Previous Instability

16/6/72 63/11SW-A, 64/11SW-A

Previous Instability

17/6/72 66/11SW-A, 18/6/72


69/11SW-A

Development

GCI 2/B7/113

BP Reports

IIB Po Shan Rd Area 3/76, Mid


Level Rpt 3/86

GEO

Mid Levels Study Rpt

LPM

Considered in 91 Selected

Pre-SIRST

Field Sheet

Feature Registration
Form for Po Shan
Road Slope

11SW-A/CR175
Major Disaster in
June 1972

Landslide
Preventative
Measure

DH-Order (To Be Confirmed with Buildings Department)


NONE
Advisory Letter (To Be Confirmed with Buildings Department)
Remarks
Follow Up Actions
Maintenance Responsibility

NONE
N/A
N/A
Government
Responsible Government Department - HyD
(Based on SIMAR results from Lands Department) IMPORTANT - READ
Disclaimer

22

Landslides: Management

Centred Map for Cut Slope 11SW-A/CR175: Po Shan Road

23

Landslides: Management

Failure of slope in June 1972


Aerial Photograph of Slopes
11SW-A/CR175 and
11SW-A/FR30

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Landslides: Landslide Warning System


Requirements:
It should:
1) provide sufficient warning of an event
to alert general public
to mobilise Emergency Services
to open temporary Shelters
2) predict IN ADVANCE all serious EVENTS
3) minimise number of false alarms
Three criteria can be in conflict:
How long should warning be?
Longer the time, the less accurate will be prediction
more false alarms

25

Landslides: Landslide Warning System


Background to Warning System
Two Approaches
Detailed Warning - e.g. 1. Conduit Road
automatic piezometer gives warning when
ground water level gets above a critical level
as determined by Slope Stability Analysis

Warning based solely on Rainfall


Aim to give warning when a significant (>10)
number of landslides are likely to occur.
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Landslides: Statistical Methods


Landslide Warning System (continued)
Research needed to correlate incidence of landslides with
rainfall
antecedent
current
predicted
Hong Kong scheme ~ mid 1980s
Research needed to adapt ideas to local conditions in Trinidad and
Tobago.
Emergency Services need clear guidelines on how to react.
Reporting system needed to notify public (via radio/ television)

27

ANTECEDENT CONDITIONS.
Are Slopes more susceptible to failure if there has been
prolonged rainfall on preceding days?
How should Antecedent rainfall Conditions be incorporated.
Lumb (1975) - 15-day antecedent conditions.
charts for Warning Purposes based both on Rainfall on Day
AND Antecedent conditions.
Most simple model uses simple cumulative 15-day antecedent
rainfall.
Could use a weighted system with days more distant weighted
less.
Lumb favoured simple approach.
28

Basis of Lumbs Predictor

Cummulative Rainfall

24 hour
criteria

Cumulative Rainfall
over previous 15 days

3 4

5 6

8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15

Day
29

Rainfall Profile and Onset of Landslides


Cumulative
Rainfall

4 hours
20 hours
Landslip Time (LT) (The
time when first landslip
is reported to FSD).

Landslip
Prediction
Criteria
(LPC)
Warning Time (WT)
(Rainfall predicted to
reach LPC in 4 hours)

Actual Cumulative Rainfall

Criteria Time (CT)


The time when LPC are
actually reached.
Predicted Cumulative Rainfall
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First Landslide Warning System (1977 - 1979)

Rainfall on Day (mm)

450
400
350
300
250
200
150
100
50
0
0

100

200

300

400

500

600

700

800

Antecedent Rainfall (mm)


Minor Incident
Disastrous Incident
Amber Warning (1977 - 1979)

Severe Incident
RED Warning (1977 - 1979)

AMBER and RED Warnings issued when predicted 24 hour


rainfall would plot above relevant line.
A Problem: Difficult to use without direct access to Chart.

31

Landslide Warning System 2: (1980 - mid 1983)


450
400
350
300
250
200
150
100
50
0
0

100

200

300

Minor Incident
Disastrous Incident
AMBER Warning

400

500

600

700

800

Severe Incident
RED Warning

Advantage: Much easier to identify whether WARNING


should be called - even when chart is not to hand.

32

Landslide Event 28 - 29th May 1982

Rainfall on Landslip Day (mm)

400

300

09
00
20

200

Landslide Warning: 1/82


Issued at 09:00 on 29/05/82
Landslides reported:
Total:
223
Squatters: 107

04
100

16
12

0
0

100

200

300

400

500

600

700

800

Antecedent Rainfall in previous 15 days (mm)


33

Landslide Event 28 - 29th May 1982


Even with 24hr day plotting, the plot for 29th
May should have been as follows

Rainfall on Landslip Day (mm)

400

300

200

Landslide Warning: 1/82


Issued at 09:00 on 29/05/82
Landslides reported:
Total:
223
Squatters: 107

09

00
20

04
100

16
12

0
0

100

200

300

400

500

600

700

800

Antecedent Rainfall in previous 15 days (mm)


34

Landslide Event 28 - 29th May 1982


Situation with running 24 hr criterion

Rainfall on Landslip Day (mm)

400

09

Landslide Warning: 1/82


Issued at 09:00 on 29/05/82
Landslides reported:
Total:
223
Squatters: 107

04

300

Criterion was reached at approx 03:00


BUT
200

1st Landslide was reported at 02:00


when rainfall was about 220mm

00
20

100

16
12

0
0

100

Even if Warning procedure has been


operated correctly, warning would have
been 1 hour too late!
200

300

400

500

600

700

800

Antecedent Rainfall in previous 15 days (mm)


35

All Landslide Warning Incidents in 1982


400

09

Landslide Warning: 1/82


Issued at 09:00 on 29/05/82
Landslides reported:
Total:
223
Squatters: 107

16

04
300

200

20

12

00
20

16
20

12

08
16
100

12

LW 7/82
23:52
16/09/82
Total: 3
Sq: 3

100

LW 5/82
05:50
16/08/82
Total: 98

16
00

12 LW 4/82
11:00
03/08/82
Total: 9
Sq: 5

Sq:
04
00

32

08

LW 2/82
06:15 31/05/82
Total: 91/ Sq: 40
16

LW 3/82
04 11:00 02/06/82*
Total: 28/Sq: 12

16

06

LW 6/82
06:35
18/08/82*
Total: 8
Sq: 2

200
300
400
500
600
700
Antecedent Rainfall in previous 15 days (mm)

800

36

Performance of All LandSlip Warnings 1982 - 1983


Warning

Criteria

Warning

Time

Forecast

First

Gain

Landslip

No.

Date

(CT)

Time (WT)

(N)

Time

1/82

29.05.82

0300 - 0400

0900

(-)b

0123

2/82

31.05.82a

0600 - 0700

0615

1351

3/82

02.06.82a

not reached

1140

NA

NR

4/82

03.08.82

1300 1400

1100

NR

5/82

16.08.82

0500 - 0600

0550

1009

6/82

18.08.82a

not reached

0635

NA

NR

7/82

16.09.82

not reached

2352

NA

NR

1/83

27.03.83

2300 2400

2355

0011

2/83

08.04.83

not reached

1102

NA

NR

3/83

17. 06.83

0800 - 0900

0745

0840

Red
Green
Blue

Landslides with No Warning!


Landslide Warnings with Several Hours Warning
Landslide Warnings with 1 Hour Warning

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24-hour Rainfall during Event (mm)

All Rainstorm Events: Daily Rainfall vs Antecedent Rainfall


450

Disastrous

400

Severe
Minor

350

Null Event
New 1983 Criteria

300

Criteria for low antecedent


rainfall reduced to conform
to actual 1st landslide in
Event 1/82

250
200
150
100
50
0
0

100

200

300

400

500

600

700

Antecedent 15-day Rainfall (mm)


Disastrous > 50 reported Landslides: Severe 10 - 50 Landslides
Minor
< 10 Landslides
: Null Event: No reported Landslides

800

38

Landslide Warnings: The Problems


1. Antecedent Condition leads to confusion - (Incident 1/82)
2. Must use rolling 24 hour scheme
3. Previous Analysis (e.g. Lumb) has been based on 24 hr day basis
4. Total Rainfall in day will not generally be a good correlator as
final cumulative 24 hr rainfall (whether day or rolling) will occur
AFTER Landslides have occurred.
5. Some Landslides Events will occur after very low Antecedent
Rainfall
6. Some Landslides Events occur after short periods of very
intense rainfall.
7. It is difficult to predict with accuracy future rainfall.
Is it sensible to continue with Antecedent Rainfall Condition??
39

24-hour Rainfall during Event (mm)

Severe and Disastrous Landslide Events: with 1984 Scheme


450

Disastrous: > 50 Landslides


Severe: 10 - 50 Landslides
Existing Criteria
Warning Line
Landslide Line

400
350
300
250
200
150
100
50
0
0

100

200

300

400

500

600

700

800

Antecedent 15-day Rainfall (mm)

Existing Criteria Line - in use mid 1982 - mid 1984


Warning and Landslide Lines in use from mid 1984

40

Landslides: Landslide Warning System


Landslide Warnings: The Final (1984) Approach
1. Abolish Antecedent Criteria - base solely on Rolling 24hr
approach.
2. When Rainfall exceeds 100 mm in a period of 24 hours and is
expected to exceed 175 mm (total) within 4 hours: CONSIDER
issuing a LANDSLIDE WARNING.
If weather conditions suggest that Rainfall will cease shortly then
issue could be delayed.
3. If Rainfall exceeds 175 mm then Landslides are likely and
Warning should now be issued regardless of whether rain is likely to
cease shortly
4. Landslide Warning should be issued regardless of above if rainfall
in any one hour exceeds 70 mm in any one hour in Urban Area.
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Landslides: Landslide Warning System


The 1984 Warning Scheme
Simple to understand
On average

0 - 7 Warnings in a Year

up to one third are false alarms


identifies all serious/disastrous events
about one third of warnings classified as minor
(i.e. less than 10 landslides).
Further Improvements were introduced in 1999
42

Landslides: The Way Forward


the Engineering Approach is justified in a few cases
New developments / highways etc
GIS methods are powerful and cost effective
BUT
Requires development of a robust Database
Catalogue of Slope Types (whether failed on not)
Catalogue of Landslides
Trinidad and Tobago (Carribean) can build on an improve on
the scheme developed in Hong Kong.
Research needed to enhance GIS prediction of landslides
Incorporate Geotechnical information
43

Landslides: Conclusions
Interdisciplinary Research incorporating all three
approaches is important for effective management of
slopes and mitigation of adverse effects of landslides.
Proactive Management of slope hazards will be more
cost effective in the long term.
Hong Kong woke up to the seriousness of the issues
following disastrous landslides in 1972. Caribbean
Countries should learn from their experience.
Important to begin and resource fully the research
needed to achieve these aims.

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