The Influence of Increasing Rain and Earthquake Activities on Landslide Slope Stability in Forest Areas

Thursday, 18 December 2014
Tetsuya Kubota and Aril Aditian, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
Deriving the analysis of rainfall data in various mountainous locations, increase in rainfall that is deemed to be induced by the global climate change is obvious in Kyushu district, western Japan. On this point of view, its long term impact on the forest slope stability is analyzed with field investigation and numerical simulation such as finite element method (FEM). On the other hand, the influence of earthquake such as cracks on the slope due to seismic vibration was also analyzed with FEM. In this case, the slope stability analysis to obtain the factor of safety “Fs” is conducted. Here, in case of the Fs > 1.0, the slope is stable. In addition, the slope stabilizing effect of the forest mainly due to the roots strength is evaluated on some unstable slopes. Simultaneously, a holistic estimation over landslide groups is conducted by comparing “Fs” on forest slopes with non- forest slopes.

 Therefore, the following conclusions are obtained:

 1) Comparing the Fs without increased rainfall from the previous decade and the one with actual rainfall, the former case is 1.04 ~1.06 times more stable than the latter. 2) On the other hand, the forest slopes are estimated to be up to approximately 1.5 to 2.5 times more stable than the slope without forest. Therefore, the slope stabilizing effect by the forest is much higher than the increasing rainfall influence i.e. the climate change effect. These results imply that an appropriate forest existence is important under the climate change condition to prevent forest slope degradation.

3) Comparing with the destabilization of the slope by seismic activities (vibration) due to the reduction of soil strength and "cracks = slope deformation" (8~9 % to 30% reduction in Fs even after an earthquake of 490gal), the influence of the long term rainfall increase on slopes (such as 1% decrease in Fs) is relatively small in the study area.