Header

UZH-Logo

Maintenance Infos

Paraglacial rock slope stability under changing environmental conditions, Safuna Lakes, Cordillera Blanca Peru


Klimeš, Jan; Novotný, Jan; Cochacin Rapre, Alejo; Balek, Jan; Zahradníček, Pavel; Strozzi, Tazio; Sana, Hamid; Frey, Holger; René, Miloš; Štěpánek, Petr; Meitner, Jan; Junghardt, Johan (2021). Paraglacial rock slope stability under changing environmental conditions, Safuna Lakes, Cordillera Blanca Peru. Frontiers in Earth Science, (9):607277.

Abstract

Landslides or landslide-induced impact waves in high mountain lakes represent a highhazard for society, calling for realistic assessments of rock slope stability responsible forthe process chain initiation. This task is often hampered by complex interplays of triggers, which effects on slope stability may be delayed by decades or even millennia, while historical records describing slope topography or landslide occurrences are usually shorter and incomplete. This article builds on rarely available detailed historical data describing the site of the 2002 rock avalanche in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru. It caused a dangerous impact wave in the Safuna Alta Lake resulting in a minor flood, but ongoing downstream development significantly increased the risk of a comparable event. Pre-2002 and post-2002 failure slope topography, 70 years long history of glaciation and landslide occurrences were combined with non-invasive field geological surveys and laboratory geotechnical analyses to characterize the distinct morphological parts of the failed slope with reliable engineering geological slope models. Slope stability was calculated for a series of environmental scenarios providing insights into the 2002 rock avalanche failure mechanism and dynamics as well as the role of glacier slope support for its stability. Results show that the rock slope stability is governed by discontinuous slip planes where rock bridges represent the most likely additional resisting forces. The effect of glacier support on the slope stability is limited under full-water saturation of the rocks and due to specific morpho-structural conditions. Importance of the long-term, progressive deterioration of the rock slope strength under paraglacial environment and repeated seismic shaking is illustrated by the fact that even the Little Ice Age maximum glacier extend only had minor positive effect on the pre-2002 rock avalanche slope stability. Despite of that, the slope remained without a major failure for decades or possibly even centuries. Its collapse in 2002 caused retrogressive movements of the adjacent slope, which remains highly unstable until now. Therefore the future safety of the lake would largely benefit from the implementation of a reliable slope movement monitoring system.

Abstract

Landslides or landslide-induced impact waves in high mountain lakes represent a highhazard for society, calling for realistic assessments of rock slope stability responsible forthe process chain initiation. This task is often hampered by complex interplays of triggers, which effects on slope stability may be delayed by decades or even millennia, while historical records describing slope topography or landslide occurrences are usually shorter and incomplete. This article builds on rarely available detailed historical data describing the site of the 2002 rock avalanche in the Cordillera Blanca, Peru. It caused a dangerous impact wave in the Safuna Alta Lake resulting in a minor flood, but ongoing downstream development significantly increased the risk of a comparable event. Pre-2002 and post-2002 failure slope topography, 70 years long history of glaciation and landslide occurrences were combined with non-invasive field geological surveys and laboratory geotechnical analyses to characterize the distinct morphological parts of the failed slope with reliable engineering geological slope models. Slope stability was calculated for a series of environmental scenarios providing insights into the 2002 rock avalanche failure mechanism and dynamics as well as the role of glacier slope support for its stability. Results show that the rock slope stability is governed by discontinuous slip planes where rock bridges represent the most likely additional resisting forces. The effect of glacier support on the slope stability is limited under full-water saturation of the rocks and due to specific morpho-structural conditions. Importance of the long-term, progressive deterioration of the rock slope strength under paraglacial environment and repeated seismic shaking is illustrated by the fact that even the Little Ice Age maximum glacier extend only had minor positive effect on the pre-2002 rock avalanche slope stability. Despite of that, the slope remained without a major failure for decades or possibly even centuries. Its collapse in 2002 caused retrogressive movements of the adjacent slope, which remains highly unstable until now. Therefore the future safety of the lake would largely benefit from the implementation of a reliable slope movement monitoring system.

Statistics

Citations

Dimensions.ai Metrics
2 citations in Web of Science®
9 citations in Scopus®
Google Scholar™

Altmetrics

Downloads

29 downloads since deposited on 06 May 2021
6 downloads since 12 months
Detailed statistics

Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Language:English
Date:29 April 2021
Deposited On:06 May 2021 11:49
Last Modified:25 Jun 2024 01:39
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:2296-6463
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/feart.2021.607277
Official URL:https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/feart.2021.607277/full
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)