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Epic Landslide Erosion from Mountain Roads in Yunnan, China – Challenges for Sustainable Development : Volume 2, Issue 6 (03/06/2014)

By Sidle, R. C.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004019202
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 31
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Epic Landslide Erosion from Mountain Roads in Yunnan, China – Challenges for Sustainable Development : Volume 2, Issue 6 (03/06/2014)  
Author: Sidle, R. C.
Volume: Vol. 2, Issue 6
Language: English
Subject: Science, Natural, Hazards
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection, Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Ghestem, M., Stokes, A., & Sidle, R. C. (2014). Epic Landslide Erosion from Mountain Roads in Yunnan, China – Challenges for Sustainable Development : Volume 2, Issue 6 (03/06/2014). Retrieved from

Description: US Environmental Protection Agency, Ecosystems Research Division, National Exposure Research Laboratory, ORD, 960 College Station Road, Athens, GA 30605 USA. Expanding mountain road networks in developing countries significantly increase the risk of landslides and sedimentation, as well as create vulnerabilities for residents and aquatic resources. We measured landslide erosion along seven road segments in steep terrain in the upper Salween River basin, Yunnan, China and estimated sediment delivery to channels. Landslide erosion rates along the roads ranged from 2780 to 48 235 Mg ha−1 yr−1, the upper end of this range being the highest rate ever reported along mountain roads. The two roads with the highest landslide erosion (FG1 = 12 966 Mg ha−1 yr−1 ; DXD = 48 235 Mg ha−1 yr−1) had some of the highest sediment delivery rates to channels (about 80 and 86%, respectively). Overall, three times more landslides occurred along cutslopes compared to fillslopes, but fillslope failures had a combined mass >1.3 times that of cutslope failures. Many small landslides occurred along road cuts, but these were often trapped on the road surface. Given the magnitude of the landslide problem and the lack of attention to this issue, a more sustainable approach for mountain road development is outlined based on an analysis of landslide susceptibility and how thresholds for landslide trigger mechanisms would be modified by road location and construction techniques.

Epic landslide erosion from mountain roads in Yunnan, China – challenges for sustainable development

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