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

The Dangers of Dam Construction: The Link Between Reservoirs and Landslides

In recent years, the construction of dams has increased worldwide, driven by the need for water supply and energy generation. However, there are concerns about the potential risks associated with building dams, including an increased likelihood of landslides in nearby areas. A recent study has highlighted a clear connection between the filling of a reservoir and a landslide incident in Hoseynabad-e Kalpush village in Iran.

In March 2019, a devastating landslide struck the village, causing severe damage to 300 houses and cutting off access to the nearby dam. Local authorities initially attributed the landslide to heavy rainfall, denying any connection to the dam. However, researchers from the German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam analyzed satellite data and 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

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