Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
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Assessment and Mitigation of Slope Stability Hazards Along Kombolcha-Desse Road, Northern Ethiopia

Authors: Biruk Wolde Eremacho

Abstract:

The Kombolcha to Desse road, linking Addis Ababa with Northern Ethiopia towns traverses through one of the most difficult mountainous ranges in Ethiopia. The presence of loose unconsolidated materials (colluvium materials), highly weathered and fractured basalt rocks high relief, steep natural slopes, nature of geologic formations exposed along the road section, poor drainage conditions, occurrence of high seasonal rains, and seismically active nature of the region created favorable condition for slope instability in the area. Thus, keeping in mind all above points the present study was conceived to study in detail the slope stability condition of the area. It was realized that detailed slope stability studies along this road section are very necessary to identify critical slopes and to provide the best remedial measures to minimize the slope instability problems which frequently disrupt and endanger the traffic movement on this important road. For the present study based on the field manifestation of instability two most critical slope sections were identified for detailed slope stability analysis. The deterministic slope stability analysis approach was followed to perform the detailed slope stability analysis of the selected slope sections. Factor of safety for the selected slope sections was determined for the different anticipated conditions (i.e., static and dynamic with varied water saturations) using Slope/W and Slide software. Both static and seismic slope stability analysis were carried out and factor of safety was deduced for each anticipated conditions. In general, detailed slope stability analysis of the two critical slope sections reveals that for only static dry condition both the slopes sections would be stable. However, for the rest anticipated conditions defined by static and dynamic situations with varied water saturations both critical slope sections would be unstable. Moreover, the causes of slope instability in the study area are governed by different factors; therefore integrated approaches of remedial measures are more appropriate to mitigate the possible slope instability in the study area. Depending on site condition and slope stability analysis result four types of suitable preventive and remedial measures are recommended namely; proper managements of drainages, retaining structures, gabions, and managing steeply cut slopes.

Keywords: factor of safety, remedial measures, slope stability analysis, static and dynamic condition

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