Geohazard risk monitoring and mitigation approaches: Increasing resilience of the Himalayan road network
Climate change is leading to a more extreme environment and increasing the recurrence rate of natural hazards, making infrastructures subject to actions to which they had not necessarily been designed for. Risk estimation and mitigation measures deriving from climate change are creating new concepts that are being incorporated into different infrastructure departments policies, resulting in new strategies based on prevention instead of on the existing reactive approach used to address detected damages or failure processes.In the case of the road networks, landslides become of great importance due to their recurrence as well as because of its impact. Particularly significant is the case of the South Asian region occupied by Nepal, Buthan and North of India, which have the combination of a young Geology with the highest mountains on Earth. This, together with a road network designed following the old transport paths (not following the bottom of the valleys but going along the half of the hill) and with the state of development of the countries; ends on a pore road network system subject to many landslides that cause accidents, road blocks and road failures that condition the economy and way of living of the people of the region.This proposal presents four case studies undertaken in the region and funded by the World Bank or JICA, which summarizing, provide on one hand different possibilities of identifying the most vulnerable or hot spot locations, depending on the scope; and secondly, how to work towards mitigating strategies that look preventing the landslides from happening. The fact of being developing countries reinforces the need for these two aspects. Due to the lack of money available, prioritizing where to intervene is particularly critical. Additionally, there is no tradition of acting without an evidence of a problem. All interventions until now have been in reaction to a failure, so a change of mentality is required to get the most benefit of the investment.The four case studies are:1) Proactive Monitoring and Assessment of Critical Slopes Using Remote Sensing in the Transport Sector in South Asia 2) Road Slope Monitoring for Ex-ante Traffic Control of High Disaster Risk Road Slopes in Bhutan Selected by using PSIn-SAR 3) Landslide risk assessment, risk mapping and decision support system along primary highways in Nepal 4) Geohazard risk management and resilient asset management in Bhutan.The first two case studies are focused on better understanding the landslide process and obtaining higher accuracy on the landslide prediction, while the second two case studies are proposing two different approaches on how to obtain a risk ratio having in consideration a vast region subject to different properties and external actions. In these two last ones, the goal was to develop an asset management tool that could help the Department of Roads to identify the best possible investment strategy using the information currently available but where the future incorporation of information could also improve the accuracy of the system.
Organizer: INES Ingenieros Consultores S.L.
Partner organizations: World Bank, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan, JICA, ICEM, GEOCE