Understanding shallow landslides in Campos do Jordão municipality – Brazil: disentangling the anthropic effects from natural causes in the disaster of 2000
Abstract. Located in a mountainous area of south-eastern Brazil, the municipality of Campos do Jordão has been hit by several landslides in recent history. Among those events, the landslides of early 2000 were significant in terms of the number of deaths (10), the population affected and the destruction of infrastructure that was caused. The purpose of this study is to assess the relative contribution of natural and human factors to triggering the landslides of the 2000 event. To achieve this goal, a detailed geotechnical survey was conducted in three representative slopes of the area to obtain geotechnical parameters needed for slope stability analysis. Then, a set of numerical experiments with GEO-SLOPE software was designed, including separate natural and anthropic factors. Results showed that natural factors, that is, high-intensity rainfall and geotechnical conditions, were not severe enough to trigger landslides in the study area and that human disturbance was entirely responsible for the landslide events of 2000. Since the anthropic effects used in the simulations are typical of hazardous urban areas in Brazil, we concluded that the implementation of public policies that constrain the occupation of landslide susceptible areas are urgently needed.