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ICSETI 2015 Keynote


Prof. Dr. Roslan Zainal Abidin

President & Vice

Chancellor Kuala Lumpur Infrastructure University (IUKL)

Keynote Topic

Forecasting Erosion Induced Landside

Soil erosion is globally recognised as a serious threat to the human well being.  The basic definition of the word ‘Soil Erosion’ basically means the destruction of soil by the dual action of water and wind.  It is essentially a smoothing process with soil particles being carried, rolled or washed down by the gravitational force.  Erosion induced landslide is fundamentally a continuous process caused by two prominent means of disturbance either geologically or accelerated that affects the geotechnical strata and the surface of the earth.  The severity or impact on the soil strata depends significantly on the rainfall intensity, energy and magnitude of the rainfall erosiveness which scour away and breakdown the soil particles  and carry them away besides the degree of soil erodibility itself.  A combination of these two main factors namely rainfall erosivity and soil erodibility can be used as a predictive tool in forecasting erosion induced landslide.

Globally, erosion induced landslide poses enormous threats and over the past years as well as in the present scenario have caused severe damages. Apart from claiming lives of the humanity, it destroys residential and commercial properties, arrests development in urban and rural areas and impairs water quality of rivers and streams.  The problem of erosion induced landslide is not unique as it occurs in most countries throughtout the world.

From the engineering perspective, soil erosion includes the process of detachment of soil particles from the soil mass as a function of rainfall erosivity.  When raindrops fall on the bare surface of a slope, it would results in the slope to be eroded and exhibiting erosion features of sheet, rill or gully. With increasing external stimulus of intense rainfall, this would gradually cause slope failure or landslide as commonly being kown. Slope failure due to soil erosion phenomenon that leads to landslide occurrences had entirely been referred under the standard classification system of shallow translational type of movement of debris slides and flows.

Thus identification of potential erosion locations is substantially crucial as it would lead to the determination of landslide prone areas. At present, there are about 46 number of major landslides event in Malaysia since 1993 that have been identified as erosion induced landslide areas claiming more than 150 lives. Malaysia faces the problem of lanslide mainly due to its geographical location in the area of destruction which recorded an average annual rainfall of 2500mm. The need to take appropriate mitigating measures against erosion is essential in planning new development projects. As erosion induced landslide constitute a major socio-economic problem, information on erosion risk locations would supplement a reliable landslide hazard map in the country. This in many ways would reduce the number and impact of landslide occurrance, thus mitigating economic and social losses. By knowing the level of rainfall erosivity and soil erodibility impact of an area, the potential risk of erosion induced landslide can be determined.


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