Characteristic analysis of large-scale loess landslides: a case study in Baoji City of Loess Plateau of Northwest China

H. B. Wang, B. Zhou, S. R. Wu, J. S. Shi, B. Li
2011 Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences  
Landslides are one of the most common geologic hazards in the Loess Plateau of northwest China, especially with some of the highest landslide densities found in Shaanxi and adjacent provinces. Prior to assessing the landslide hazard, a detailed landslide inventory map is fundamental. This study documents the landslides on the northwest Loess Plateau with high accuracy using high-resolution Quickbird imagery for landslide inventory mapping in the Changshou valley of Baoji city. By far the
more » ... . By far the majority of landslides are in loess, representing small-scale planar sliding. Most of the large-scale landslides involve loess and bedrock, and the failure planes occurred either along the contacts between fluvial deposits and Neogene argillites, or partially within the bedrock. In the sliding zones of a large scale landslide, linear striations and fractures of the soils were clearly developed, clay minerals were oriented in the same direction and microorganism growths were present. From the analysis of microstructure of sliding soils, it is concluded that the Zhuyuan landslide can be reactivated if either new or recurring water seepage is caused in the sliding surface. It can be concluded that most landslides are attributed to the undercutting of the slope associated with gullying, and numerous ancillary factors including bedrock-loess interface, slope steepness, vegetation cover and land utilization. Published by Copernicus Publications on behalf of the European Geosciences Union.
doi:10.5194/nhess-11-1829-2011 fatcat:xefsjkqvnnhmnjimvmbojx374a