Volume 10 Issue 2
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Vipin Kumar, Vikram Gupta, Imlirenla Jamir, Shovan Lal Chattoraj. Evaluation of potential landslide damming: Case study of Urni landslide, Kinnaur, Satluj valley, India[J]. Geoscience Frontiers, 2019, 10(2): 753-767. doi: 10.1016/j.gsf.2018.05.004
Citation: Vipin Kumar, Vikram Gupta, Imlirenla Jamir, Shovan Lal Chattoraj. Evaluation of potential landslide damming: Case study of Urni landslide, Kinnaur, Satluj valley, India[J]. Geoscience Frontiers, 2019, 10(2): 753-767. doi: 10.1016/j.gsf.2018.05.004

Evaluation of potential landslide damming: Case study of Urni landslide, Kinnaur, Satluj valley, India

doi: 10.1016/j.gsf.2018.05.004

The authors are thankful to the Director, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG) for all the necessary help and support. VK acknowledges Dr. Amit Kumar and Mr. Anupam Anand Gokhale for the affirmative discussion about rainfall dynamics. VK also thank people of Urni and Tapri town, Kinnaur for helpful discussion during field. SLC acknowledges the financial help by the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) through TDP project for debris flow modelling. We are thankful to the Editorial Advisor (Prof. M. Santosh), Associate Editor (Prof. Shaji E) and two anonymous reviewers for their constructive suggestions. This study forms a part of the doctoral thesis of VK.

  • Received Date: 2017-09-19
  • Rev Recd Date: 2018-03-09
  • Publish Date: 2021-01-07
  • This work aims to understand the process of potential landslide damming using slope failure mechanism, dam dimension and dam stability evaluation. The Urni landslide, situated on the right bank of the Satluj River, Himachal Pradesh (India) is taken as the case study. The Urni landslide has evolved into a complex landslide in the last two decade (2000-2016) and has dammed the Satluj River partially since year 2013, damaging ~200 m stretch of the National Highway (NH-05). The crown of the landslide exists at an altitude of ~2180-2190 m above msl, close to the Urni village that has a human population of about 500. The high resolution imagery shows ~50 m long landslide scarp and ~100 m long transverse cracks in the detached mass that implies potential for further slope failure movement. Further analysis shows that the landslide has attained an areal increase of 103,900±1142 m2 during year 2004-2016. About 86% of this areal increase occurred since year 2013. Abrupt increase in the annual mean rainfall is also observed since the year 2013. The extreme rainfall in the June, 2013; 11 June (~100 mm) and 16 June (~115 mm), are considered to be responsible for the slope failure in the Urni landslide that has partially dammed the river. The finite element modelling (FEM) based slope stability analysis revealed the shear strain in the order of 0.0-0.16 with 0.0-0.6 m total displacement in the detachment zone. Further, kinematic analysis indicated planar and wedge failure condition in the jointed rockmass. The debris flow runout simulation of the detached mass in the landslide showed a velocity of ~25 m/s with a flow height of ~15 m while it (debris flow) reaches the valley floor. Finally, it is also estimated that further slope failure may detach as much as 0.80±0.32 million m3 mass that will completely dam the river to a height of 76±30 m above the river bed.
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