The Connection between Dam Construction and Landslide Risk: A Case Study in Iran

Causal relationship found between 2019 Iranian landslide and dam construction, scientists say

A recent study has revealed a clear connection between the construction of dams and the increased likelihood of landslides in nearby areas. In March 2019, a devastating landslide struck Hoseynabad-e Kalpush village in Iran, causing severe damage to over 300 houses and cutting off access to the nearby dam. Local authorities initially attributed the landslide to heavy rainfall, but researchers from the German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam found that the movement of the slope began shortly after the reservoir started to fill in 2013.

The study, published in Engineering Geology, indicates that the accumulation of water in the dam raised the local water table, making the soil in the hillside more susceptible to movement. This led to the reactivation of an ancient landslide, which eventually gave way after heavy rainfall in 2019. The findings underscore the importance of considering potential risks associated with dam construction, particularly in areas prone to landslides.

Engineers and policymakers need to take into account the impacts of reservoir filling on nearby geological structures and implement measures to mitigate the risk of landslides. The incident in Hoseynabad-e Kalpush village serves as a cautionary tale, emphasizing the need for thorough risk assessment and planning in dam construction projects. By understanding

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