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Evidence of a hidden landslide slip surface beneath a mountain hamlet

Zhao, Yu, Konagai, Kazuo
Environmental earth sciences 2014 v.71 no.10 pp. 4615-4624
disasters, earthquakes, geomorphology, landslides, remote sensing, wells
Earthquake-triggered landslides are some of the most destructive natural disasters. Although remote detection of landslides is economic and efficient, it may miss the more subtle signs of hidden landslides. The Kizawa Tunnel and facilities in its vicinity were severely damaged in the 2004 mid-Niigata Prefecture earthquake. After investigation of the most prominent cracks, the damage was attributed to the slip along a hidden weakness plane. Evidence supporting this argument is summarized in this paper. However, the extent of the shear plane is not limited to the interior of the northern part of the tunnel. The dislocation observed in the two wells to the south of the Kizawa Tunnel together with other findings from previous studies indicates that Kizawa hamlet lies on the southern extension of the same shear plane. Taking account of the presence of flat sedimentary structures, the shear plane may extend in all directions. The authors also surveyed other signs of damage along the perimeter where the shear plane intersects the ground surface. The geological and geomorphological features of the hidden landslide are discussed. Reactivation of interlayer sliding is a threat to the local residents, and thus more attention should be paid to monitoring the movement of the slope to avoid devastating damages.