Heavy precipitation or extreme loads such as earthquakes can trigger soil and rock slides.
When infrastructure and buildings are affected, the consequences are often disastrous. Climate changes will lead to more soil and rock slides in areas that have not previously experienced such events.
NGI's state-of-the-art expertise
- material behaviour and triggering mechanisms
- assessment of run-out distance and landslide risk
- design of protective measures
Services related to soil and rock slides
Since its inception in 1953, NGI has studied landslides and landslide risk in rock and soil. Understanding of the mechanisms that cause landslides is essential. The core expertise knowledge about the strength and deformation properties of soil and rock and the changes in these properties due to precipitation, changes in water content and loading.
In connection with studies of quick clay areas in Norway, NGI developed a method for quantifying the degree of hazard (probability) and consequence for quick clay slides. Risk is the combination of degree of hazard and consequence.
NGI is involved in several international projects to study and reduce the risk of landslides, including transfer of knowledge to local authorities. Examples are South and Central America, where densely populated areas have repeatedly been subjected to landslides as a result of extreme precipitation and major earthquakes.
Research and development
NGI's research in the field of soil and rock slides is concentrated in the following areas:
- mapping, identifying and quantifying the degree of hazard in areas that are vulnerable to soil and rock slides
- GeoExtreme, the effect of climatic change on landslides
- developing systems for securing and monitoring hazardous terrain and issuing warnings of landslide hazards
- methods for calculating the run-out distance of debris flows and rock fall
NGI is the leading institution of the International Centre for Geohazards (ICG), which is one of Norway's "Centres of Excellence" (CoE). ICG carries out research on the assessment, prevention and mitigation of geohazards, including risk of landslide in soil and rock due to rainfall, flooding, earthquakes and human intervention, and the geological risks in deep waters, especially underwater slides.
The centre also contributes to the education of researchers and specialists in these fields. NGI's partners in ICG are NORSAR, the Geological Survey of Norway (NGU), the University of Oslo (UiO) and the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU).
NGI cooperates with well recognised landslide specialists in Italy, Austria, France and Switzerland.
The quick clay slide at Rissa
In 1978, Norway's largest quick clay slide to date occurred at Rissa, in Trøndelag County. Parts of the slide was filmed by two amateur photographers and NGI used the material to produce a 21-minute film of the event. Two excerpts of the film are shown in the "Picture and documents" frame (upper right). The film can be seen on NGI's YouTube channel. See also pictures from the Rissa slide in the picture frame.