Activity 5 – Geological and Geomorphic controls on Landslide for risk assessment and zonation in the Himalaya
Since the Himalayan terrain is susceptible to landslides and related mass movement activities, the present activity focusses on landslides mapping in space and time, assessment of hazards and mitigation of risks involved, and evolving management strategies through engineering geological, geophysical, and geotechnical studies along with active fault mapping. This project includes finding main causes of landslides and mass movement, cloudbursts, field and laboratory study of rocks and soils involved in sliding processes and subsurface investigations through ground penetrating radar (GPR), electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) etc. The landslide hazard zonation maps, risk maps and modeling the behavior of slopes under various projected climatic conditions are some of the issues that are to be undertaken for the prediction of landslides and related mass movement activities. Several developmental activities such as the construction of roads, rail route, tunnels, bridges, dams and hydropower projects, and widening of roads are undergoing at a rapid pace in the Himalaya. Impact assessment of all these processes are need of the hours. Hence, (i) development of inventory of unstable slopes, landslides, glacial lakes, (ii) formulation of hazard and risk zonation maps, (iii) understanding the causes and distribution of landslides with various endogenic and exogenic processes like neo-tectonic activities, earthquake activities, precipitation and anthropogenic activities, (iv) surface and sub-surface characterization of selected landslide areas using geophysical methods, and (v) morphotectonic evolution of major and minor faults are important for landslide hazard and risk assessment. All these constitute important inputs in the development of landslide disaster risk reduction (LDRR) strategy for the Himalayan terrain.