Risky Business: The Link Between Reservoir Filling and Landslides in Dams: A Study on Hoseynabad-e Kalpush Village

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

Over the past few decades, there has been an increase in the construction of dams worldwide due to the need for water supply and energy generation. However, building dams also comes with potential risks, including a higher likelihood of landslides in nearby areas. A recent study has shed light on this issue, revealing a clear connection between reservoir filling and landslide incidents.

In March 2019, a devastating landslide struck Hoseynabad-e Kalpush village in Iran, causing severe damage to 300 houses and cutting off access to the nearby dam. Local authorities initially blamed heavy rainfall for the landslide but researchers from the German Research Centre for Geosciences in Potsdam found that it was actually caused by the movement of the slope that began after the reservoir started to fill in 2013. The study was published in Engineering Geology.

The findings suggest that when water is stored in a reservoir, it can cause an increase in local water levels which makes the soil more prone to movement. This can lead to reactivation of ancient landslides which eventually give way under extreme conditions such as heavy rainfall. Engineers and policymakers must take into account these impacts when building dams and implement measures to mitigate landslide risks.

The incident at Hoseynabad-e Kalpush village serves as a cautionary tale reminding us of the importance of thorough risk assessment and planning when constructing dams. By understanding these potential consequences, we can work towards more sustainable and safe water management practices in future projects.

In conclusion, while dams are necessary for meeting our needs for water supply and energy generation, their construction must be carefully planned with consideration given to potential risks such as increased likelihood of landslides. With proper planning and risk assessment, we can ensure that these structures are built safely and sustainably for future generations.

Leave a Reply