Major factors influencing the occurrence of landslides in the northern slopes of the Uluguru mountains, Tanzania

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Landslide mitigation largely depends on the understanding of the nature of the factors that have direct bearing on the occurrence oflandslides. Identification of these factors is of paramount importance in setting out appropriate and strategic landslides control measures. The present study focused on the identification of the major factors influencing the occurrence oflandslides in the Northern slopes of the Uluguru Mountains, Tanzania. The main objective was to establish relationship between spatial distribution of landslides and their causative factors. Such information would enable the planning of appropriate and strategic control measures. Aerial photographs, field survey and Geographic Information System (GIS) techniques were employed to identify the landslides features which occurred during EL NINO rains, spatial distribution and their corresponding factors. The results show that landslides dominate the geomorphic units with slope gradient ranging from 25% to over 80%. The most affected geomorphic units are in the order: debris slopes> incisions and V-shaped valleys > amphitheatres. Factors which cause theoccurrence of landslides are both soil and terrain related. The most important soil characteristics are presence of shallow soil solum with low bulk density and high macro porosity overlying a relatively less porous saprolite or hard bed rock. The terrain related factors include: undercutting of slopes by roads and pathways and presence of very steep concave side slopes. Water flow from roads and pathways and seepage from irrigation channels are precursors for the triggering oflandslides in the study area.



Landslides, Uluguru Mountains, Ridge slopes, Landslide mitigation