Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2022-296
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2022-296
 
12 Jan 2023
12 Jan 2023
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Brief communication on the NW Himalayan towns; slipping towards potential disaster

Yaspal Sundriyal1, Vipin Kumar2, Neha Chauhan1, Sameeksha Kaushik1, Rahul Ranjan3, and Mohit K. Punia4 Yaspal Sundriyal et al.
  • 1Department of Geology, HNB Garhwal University, Srinagar, India
  • 2Department of Geology, Doon University, Dehradun, India
  • 3Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway
  • 4National Geotechnical Facility, Dehradun, India

Abstract. The NW Himalaya has been one of most affected terrains of Himalaya subjected to frequent disastrous landslides owing to active tectonics and multiple precipitation sources. This article aims at two towns (Joshimath and Bhatwari) of the Uttarakhand in the NW Himalaya (India), which have been witnessing subsidence for decades. In the last 1–2 weeks, Joshimath has witnessed widespread cracks in more than 500 houses that has created the social unrest. The hillslopes accommodating both the towns comprise highly jointed gneisses with schistose interlayers rockmass, subsidence in road, broken retaining wall, holes, displacing boulders, and cracks in the houses. Recently, such slope instability phenomena have increased that is leading to social movements in the region seeking government action for possible evacuation and rehabilitation. Present study has involved continuum modeling-based slope stability simulation to determine the response of these hillslopes under various loading conditions; gravity, rainfall, building load, domestic discharge, and seismic load. Results revealed that the displacement in these hillslopes might reach up to 20–25 m that will further aggravate the situation. Occurrence of frequent extreme rainfalls in these towns and three major earthquakes i.e., 1 Sep. 1803 (Mw7.8), 20 Oct. 1991 (Mw 6.8), and 29 Mar. 1999 (Mw 6.6) having hypocentral distance less than 30 km make such study more viable for decision making.

Yaspal Sundriyal et al.

Status: open (until 23 Feb 2023)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • AC1: 'Comment on nhess-2022-296', Vipin Kumar, 20 Jan 2023 reply
  • RC1: 'Comment on nhess-2022-296', Anonymous Referee #1, 26 Jan 2023 reply

Yaspal Sundriyal et al.

Yaspal Sundriyal et al.

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Short summary
The NW Himalaya has been one of most affected terrains of Himalaya subjected to disastrous landslides. This article aims at two towns (Joshimath and Bhatwari) of the NW Himalaya, which have been witnessing subsidence for decades. Present study has involved slope stability simulation to determine the response of the hillslopes accommodating these towns under various conditions. Results revealed that the displacement in these hillslopes might reach up to 20–25 m.
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