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Vol. 51 (2011) No. 6 P 1179-1190




On February 9 2010, the landslide dam formed in the Kashmir earthquake that occurred on Oct 8 2005 at Hattian Bala in Pakistan was breached after incessant rains. The authors had been involved in a research project to monitor the long-lasting change of the landslide mass at regular 6 monthly intervals since June 2008, and they noticed that air-exposed pieces of sandstones and mudstones of the landslide mass had disintegrated and crumbled due to slaking that dated back to the breach. The change in the landslide mass shape observed between June 2008 and November 2009, did not seem so significant except for a 300 m-long gulley that appeared all of a sudden at the toe of the mass during winter time from 2008 to 2009. Displacements from GPS-measurements conducted in June and November 2009 showed that the crest part subsided by about 10 cm while the toe part heaved slightly up where the overflowed water fell into the eroded gully. A field survey was conducted over the breached landslide dam in April 2010, two months after the breaching event. A severely eroded breach channel was observed along the spillway, which was excavated immediately after the formation of the dam. Given the chronological change in precipitation of the catchment area of Hattian Bala obtained from the TRMM (Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission) satellite data, the dam is considered to have been breached due to the overtopping of water over the landslide mass of slakable nature. The slakable nature of the material is discussed through both standard slaking tests and advanced unconventional direct shear tests on prepared specimens. Significant creep deformation and a reduction in their peak strength were observed as the slaking developed in the specimens, suggesting that the slakable nature of the mudstones might have been responsible for the breach of the landslide dam.

Copyright © 2011 The Japanese Geotechnical Society

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