• Geohazard assessment of landslides in south Brazil: Case study

      Hamza, Omar; De Vargas, Tiago; Boff, Fernando Eduardo; Hussain, Yawar; Davies-Vollum, K. Siân; University of Derby; Centro Universitário da Serra Gaúcha (FSG); University of Brasilia (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2019-09-10)
      Slope instability phenomena such as mudslides represent a major geohazard in Brazil, which has caused devastation in many states and affected the lives of people, particularly in self-built settlements on steep slopes. This paper presents and discusses slope stability issues encountered in Caxias do Sul in the State of Rio Grande do Sul, which exemplifies the existing situation of landslide risk assessment in southern Brazil. Local geology and ground conditions of the area in relation to slope instability were reviewed and gaps in information required for mitigating risk were identified, such as inadequate geotechnical information and lack of full inspection and continuous monitoring of active landslides. Although risk assessment has been developed for the city and regarded as a fundamental management tool in the mitigation of landslide hazards, the study showed that the risk assessment works are outdated and not effectively considered for the development of the city. With significant unplanned urban expansion (where houses have been self-built on very steep terrains without geotechnical assessment of the ground and slope conditions), new geohazard mapping is essentially required. Several key recommendations were provided for mitigating the destructive effect of landslides and improving their management in mountainous urban settings.