Advertisement

High intensity rainstorms and geological hazards: Cyclone Alison, March 1975, Kaikoura, New Zealand

  • Bell D. H. 
Symposium 113 Geological Hazards And The Environment

Summary

In the 48-hour period from 9 am (NZST) on 11 March 1975, much of the coastal area surrounding Kaikoura, South Island, New Zealand, was severely damaged by high intensity (4 to 12 hour duration) rainfalls resulting from the passage of Cyclone Alison. Extensive regolith mass movements of the debris slide — avalanche — flow types occurred within the steep coastal catchments, and rapid stream aggradation and erosion caused damage in excess of NZ$ 1 million to railway and highway installations. The geologic and geomorphic setting of the Kaikoura area is such that similar ‘catastrophic’ events have almost certainly occurred during geologically recent times, and can be expected to recur in the future. The computed return period for the high intensity rainfalls accompanying Cyclone Alsion exceeds 200 years at the Kaikoura Peninsula meteorological station (Tomlinson, 1975), but there are obvious economic and engineering limitations to the minimisation of future damage.

Keywords

Cyclone Mass Movement Flood Damage Geological Hazard State Highway 

Tempetes De Grande Intensité Et Risques Géologiques: Le Cyclone Alison (Mars 1975) A Kaikoura (Nouvelle-Zéalande)

Résumé

Dans la période de 48h commençant à 9 h (heure locale) le 11 mars 1975, une grande partie de la région côtière entourant Kaikoura (Ile du Sud Nouvelle-Zélande) fut gravement endommagée par des pluies de grande intensité et de longue durée (4 à 12 heures) dues au passage du cyclone Allison. Il en résulta trois types des mouvements d’importantes masses de sol résiduel (glissement de débris, avalanche, écoulement) dans les petits bassins côtiers aux pentes escarpées. Rapidement l’érosion et l’alluvionnement causèrent plus d’un million de dollars néozélandais de dommages aux voies ferrées et aux routes. La contexte géologique et géomorphologique de la région de Kaikoura est tel que des catastrophes analogues se sont certainement produites dans les temps géologiques recents et se reproduiront très probablement à l’avenir. A la station météorologique de la presqu’île de Kaikoura, on peut évaleur à 200 ans au moins la périodicité de pluies aussi intenses (Thomlinson, 1975) mais il y a des limites techniques et économiques évidentes qui empêchent de réduire au minimum les futurs dommages.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    BEATY C.B. (1974): Debris Flows, Alluvial Fans and a Revitalized Catastrophism. Z. Geomorph. N.F. Suppl. Bd. 21, 39–51.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    BERRY L. — RUXTON B.P. (1961): Mass Movement and Landforms in New Zealand and Hong Kong. Trans. Roy. Soc. N.Z. 88 (4), 623–9.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    BLONG R.J. (1973): A Numerical Classification of Selected Landslides of the Debris Slide — Avalanche — Flow Type. Eng. Geol. 7, 99–114.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    BOLTA B.A. — HORN W.L. — MACDONALD G.A. — SCOTT R.F. (1975): Geological Hazards. Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 328p.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    BROWN L.J. — TAYLOR C.B. (1974) : Geohydrology of the Kaikoura Plain, Marlborough, New Zealand. In Isotope Techniques in Groundwater Hydrology 1974, Vol. 1, 169–89. Intl. Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    CARSON M.A. — KIRKBY M.J. (1972) : Hillslope Form and Process. Cambridge Geographical Studies No. 3, 475p, Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    CROZIER M.J. (1968a): Earthflows and Related Environmental Factors of Eastern Otago. Jl, Hydrol. (NZ), 6 (2), 4–12.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    CROZIER M.J. (1968b) : Slope Failures during Heavy Rainfall in Eastern Otago. In N.Z. Hydrological Society Symposium on Droughts and Floods, Wellington, Nov. 1968.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    CROZIER M.J. (1969): Earthflow Occurrence during High Intensity Rainfall in Eastern Otago (New Zealand). Eng. Geol. 3, 325–34.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    CUNNINGHAM A. — ARNOTT W.B. (1964): Observations following a Heavy Rainfall on the Rimutaka Range. Jl. Hydrol. (NZ) 3 (2) 15–24.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    ENGELEN G.B. (1967): Landslides in the Metamorphic Northern Border of the Dolomites (North Italy). Eng. Geol. 2 (3), 135–47.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    GRANT P.J. (1966): Variations in Rainfall Frequency in relation to Erosion in Eastern Hawkes Bay. Jl. Hydrol. (NZ) 5 (2); 73–86.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    GREGG D.R. (1964) : Sheet 18 — Hurunui. Geological Map of New Zealand 1 : 250,000, N.Z. Dept. Sci. Ind. Res., Wellington.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    HOSKING A.D. (1960) : Slope Stability Studies in the Valley of the Geehi River. 3rd Aust-N.Z. Conf. Soil Mech. Found. Eng., 169–76.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    JACKSON R.J. (1966): Slips in relation to Rainfall and Soil Characteristics. Jl. Hydrol. (NZ) 5 (2), 45–53.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    JAMES I.L. (1973): Mass Movements in the Upper Pohangina Catchment, Ruahine Range. Jl. Hydrol. (NZ) 12 (2), 92–102.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    KIRK R.M. (1975): Coastal Changes at Kaikoura, 1942–74, determined from Air Photographs. N.Z. Jl. Geol. Geophys. 18 (6) 787–801.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    LENSEN G.J. (1963) : Sheet 16 — Kaikoura. Geological Map of New Zealand 1:250 000, N.Z. Dept. Sci. Ind. Res., Wellington.Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    LUMB P. (1975): Slope Failures in Hong Kong. Q. Jl. Engng. Geol. 8 (1), 31–65.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    MOLLOY B.P.J. (1969): Evidence for Post-Glacial Climatic Changes in New Zealand. Jl. Hydrol. (NZ) 8 (2), 56–67.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    NORTHEY R.D. — HAWLEY J.G. — BARKER P.R. (1974): Classification and Mechanisms of Slope Failures in Natural Ground. N.Z. Inst. Engrs. Proc. Tech. Groups Vol. 1 Issue 5 (G), 3.1–3.8.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    O’LOUGHLIN C.J. (1974): The Effect of Timber Removal on the Stability of Forest Soils. Jl. Hydrol. (NZ) 13 (2), 121–34.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    PAIN C.F. (1968): Geomorphic Effects of Floods in the Orere River Catchment, Eastern Hunua Ranges. Jl. Hydrol. (NZ) 7 (2), 62–74.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    PRIOR D.B. — DOUGLAS G.R. (1971): Landslides near Larne, Co. Antrim, 15–16th August, 1970. Irish Geogr. 3, 294–301.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    RAPP A. (1963): The Debris Slide at Ulvadal, Western Norway. An example of Catastrophic Slope Processes in Scandinavia. Nachr. Akad. Wiss. Göttingen 13, 195–210.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    SCHICK A.P. (1974): Alluvial Fans and Desert Roads — A Problem in Applied Geomorphology. Nachr. Akad. Wiss. Göttingen 29, 418–25.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    SELBY M.J. (1967a): Aspects of the Geomorphology of the Greywacke Ranges bordering the Lower and Middle Waikato Basins. Earth Science Journal, 1 (1), 37–58.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    SELBY M.J. (1967b): Erosion by High Intensity Rainfalls in the Lower Waikato. Earth Science Journal, 1 (2), 153–6.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    SHARPE C.F.S. (1938): Landslides and Related Phenomena. Columbia University Press, New York, 136 p.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
    TERZAGHI K. (1950) : Mechanism of Landslides. In Geol. Soc. Am. Berkey Volume, 83–123.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    TOMLINSON A.I. (1975) : Cyclone Alison. N.Z. Met. Serv. Tech. Inf. Circ. No. 148, 20 p.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    VARNES D.J. (1958) : Landslide Types and Processes. In Landslides and Engineering Practice, Highway Research Board Special Report 29, Washington D.C., 20–47.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    WRIGHT A.F. — KOUTSOS P. (1969) : River Drainage and Erosion Control for Kaikoura. In HAYWARD J.A. (Ed.): Proc. Symp. Watershed Management in Water Resources Development, Part 2. Lincoln Papers in Water Resources 9, 109–42.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    ZARUBA Q. — MENCL V. (1969): Landslides and Their Control. Elsevier, Amsterdam, 214 p.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© International Association of Engineering Geology 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bell D. H. 
    • 1
  1. 1.Geology DepartmentUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand

Personalised recommendations