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Geologically and tectonically active Himalayan Range is characterized by highly elevated mountains and deep river valleys. Because of steep mountain slopes, and dynamic geological conditions, large scale landslides are very common in Lesser and Higher Himalayan zones of  Nepal Himalaya. Slopes along the major highways of central Nepal namely Prithvi Highway, Narayanghat-Mugling Road and Tribhuvan Highway are considered in this study of large-scale landslides. Geologically, the highways in consideration passes through crushed and jointed Kathmandu Nappe affected by numerous faults and folds. The relict large-scale landslides have 2 been contributing to debris flows and slides along the highways. Most of the slope failures are mainly bechanced in geological formations consisting phyllite, schist and gneiss. Laboratory test on the soil samples collected from the failure zones and field investigation suggested significant hydrothermal alteration in the area. The substantial hydrothermal alteration in the Lesser Himalaya during advancement of the Main Central Thrust (MCT) and thereby clay mineralization in sliding zones of large-scale landslide are the main causes of large-scale landslides in the highways of central Nepal. This research also suggests that large scale landslides are the major cause of slope failure during monsoon in the Lesser Himalaya of Nepal. Similarly, hydrothermal alteration is also significant in failure zone of the large-scale landslides. For the sustainable road maintenance in Nepal, it is of utmost importance to study the nature of sliding zones of large-scale landslides along the highways and their role to cause debris flows and slides during monsoon period.
EnvironmentalGeology, 57(6):1423‐1434, 2009
Dept. of Safety Systems Construction Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Kagawa University
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