Have you seen or heard of a mass movement land? Have you noticed the news that some roads in the mountains were closed due to landslides? Well, in this article, we will only discuss this mass movement of landmass. We will learn about the meaning of landslides, the impact of landslides, the causes of landslides, efforts to prevent or overcome them and so on. This article will help you understand a very important geographical phenomenon, namely landslides and related concepts.
Landslides are a natural phenomenon, but it involves many human activities which lead to the mass movement of landmass. In recent times we find the causes of landslides increasing day by day and the primary cause is deforestation. To survive, one needs to keep a check on these human activities.
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The movement of the rocks or debris etc., on a slope downwards, is called a landslide. It is a type of "mass wasting ", which refers to the movement of any mass, soil, or rocks under the influence of gravity. It is one of the natural hazards and can be a disaster if the damages occur in large amounts.
According to the Oxford learners dictionary, "landslides is a mass of earth, rock, etc. that falls down the slope of a mountain or a cliff ".
Types of Landslides
They can occur because of various reasons. We can classify them into four categories which are mentioned below:
It means falling of some material or debris or rocks etc., from a slope or a cliff which leads to a collection of this debris at the base of the slope.
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These can occur because of some fractures between the rocks and the tilt of the rocks because of gravity without collapsing. Here, we see the forward rotational movement of the material.
It is a kind of landslide when a piece of the rock slides downwards and gets separated from it.
It happens on flat terrain and gentle slopes and can occur because of softer material.
Causes of Landslide
Landslides are caused by various factors, which are mentioned below:
It can be caused because of heavy rain.
Deforestation is also one of the main reasons for landslides because trees, plants, etc., keep the soil particles compact and due to deforestation, the mountain slopes lose their protective layers because of which the water of the rain flows with unimpeded speed on these slopes.
It can be caused by earthquakes as well.
For example, in the Himalayas, the tremor occurred because earthquakes unstabilized the mountains, which led to landslides.
Volcanic eruptions in specific regions can also cause landslides.
Landslides often occur in mountain regions while making roads and construction; a large number of rocks has to be removed, which can cause landslides over there.
In the regions of North East India, landslides occur because of shifting agriculture.
Due to the increasing population, a large number of houses are being created, which leads to the creation of a large amount of debris which can cause landslides.
Effects of Landslide
Let us look at the effects of landslides in points:
Landslides can disturb the social and economic environment with the number of other damages which are mentioned below:
Short Term Impacts
The natural beauty of the area is damaged.
Loss of life and property
Destruction of railway lines
Channel blocking because of the falling of rocks.
It leads to the diversion of river water, which can cause floods as well.
Long Term Impacts
Landscape changes can be permanent.
The loss of fertile land or cultivation land.
Erosion and soil loss can lead to environmental problems.
Population shifting and migration.
Effects on the sources of water.
Some roads can be damaged or closed permanently.
Prevention and Mitigation
The following measures can be taken in this regard:
The country should identify the vulnerable areas and actions should be taken in this regard on a priority basis.
Early warning systems and monitoring systems should be there.
Hazard mapping can be done to identify the areas which are more prone to landslides.
Restriction on the construction in the risky areas should be imposed.
Afforestation programs should take place.
Restricting development in landslide areas and protecting the existing ones.
The country should specify codes or standards etc. For the construction of the buildings and other purposes in such areas of risk.
Insurance facilities should be taken by the people to deal with the loss.
Terrace farming should be adopted in hilly areas.
Response teams should be quick to deal with landslides if they occur.
Landslides in India
It is one of the natural hazards in India, which affects 15% of the geographical area of our country. Due to several factors, India is divided into the following vulnerability zones, which are shown in the table below:
Did You Know?
The North India Flood Mudslides that occurred in Kedarnath, India in June 2013 was one of the deadliest landslides in the world. Around 5700 people died in this disaster. It was one of the worst disasters ever to occur in India.
Thus, in this article, we have covered a very important topic namely landslides. We have covered its related concepts like causes, effects, prevention, and mitigation, etc. Hence, it is very important to learn these kinds of topics. These notes will help you in Geography, Environment, and Disaster Management. So, we have read about the landslide information, effects of landslides, etc. Let's look at some FAQs in the following.