Natural Hazards

, Volume 94, Issue 3, pp 1391–1413 | Cite as

Effect of rainfall on the triggering of the devastating slope failure at Malin, India

  • Nabarun DeyEmail author
  • Aniruddha Sengupta
Original Paper


A study on a devastating rainfall-induced landslide at Malin, India, which resulted in 160 deaths including the destruction of an entire village in July 2014 has been presented. The area was under a massive rainstorm which lasted for 3 days before the tragedy. The seepage into the slope due to the rainfall infiltration and the corresponding factor of safety of the slope at Malin has been quantified using a two-dimensional numerical model. The study indicates that the continuous rainfall infiltration develops a perched water table near the slope surface which results in the saturation and the positive pore water pressure build up at a shallow depth. With the increasing intensity and the rainfall duration, this depth of saturated zone increases rapidly. Though the Malin slope has an adequate factor of safety of 1.6, initially, but with continuous rainfall and increase in rainfall intensity, the factor of safety reduces to less than one on the day of tragedy. The parametric study indicates that the factor of safety of the Malin slope is adequate after 24 h of 2 mm/h, 5 mm/h and 10 mm/h of rainfall. But it drops rapidly to less than 1 after 7, 6, 6, 3, 2 and 1-h of 20 mm/h, 30 mm/h, 40 mm/h, 50 mm/h, 60 mm/h and 70 mm/h of rainfall, respectively. The slope, on which the Malin village is located, is initially safe but the debris from the upper portions of the slope moves downward destroying the residential area of the Malin village.


Landslide Rainfall infiltration Seepage Slope failure Factor of safety 


  1. BBC News (30 July 2014) Accessed 20 June 2017
  2. Bishop AW (1955) The use of the slip circle in the stability analysis of slopes. Geotechnique 5(1):7–17CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bishop AW (1959) The effective stress principle. Teknisk Ukeblad 39:859–863Google Scholar
  4. Borja RI, White JA (2010) Continuum deformation and stability analyses of a steep hillside slope under rainfall infiltration. Acta Geotech 5(1):1–14CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brown III WM, Sitar N, Saarinen TF, Blair M (1982) Overview and summary of debris flows, landslides, and floods in the San Francisco Bay region, January 1982. In: Conference on debris flows, landslides, and floods in the San Francisco Bay region, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA, pp 1–66Google Scholar
  6. Childs EC, Collis-George N (1950) The permeability of porous materials. Proc R Soc 201(1066):392–405CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Ering P, Kulkarni R, Kolekar Y, Dasaka SM, Babu GS (2015) Forensic analysis of Malin landslide in India. In: IOP conference series: earth and environmental science, vol 26, no 1. IOP Publishing, p 012040Google Scholar
  8. Fredlund DG, Rahardjo H (1993) Soil mechanics for unsaturated soils. John, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Fredlund DG, Xing A (1994) Equations for the soil-water characteristic curve. Can Geotech J 31(4):521–532CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Fredlund DG, Morgenstern NR, Widger RA (1978) The shear strength of unsaturated soils. Can Geotech J 15(3):313–321CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. GEO-SLOPE International Ltd (2007) GeoStudio. Calgary, Alberta, CanadaGoogle Scholar
  12. Lagmay AMF, Ong JBT, Fernandez DFD, Lapus MR, Rodolfo RS, Tengonciang AMP, Soria JLA, Baliatan EG, Quimba ZL, Uichanco E, Paguican A (2006) Scientists investigate recent Philippine landslide. Am Geophys Union 87(12):121–128CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Meshram S (2016) Investigations of the causes of landslide at Malin and some preventive measures. J Geotech Stud 1(2):1–14Google Scholar
  14. Morgenstern NR, Eo Price V (1965) The analysis of the stability of general slip surfaces. Geotechnique 15(1):79–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Naithani AK (1999) The Himalayan landslides. Employ News 23(47):1–2Google Scholar
  16. Naykodi A, Takalkar O, Bhor A, Jadav K, SA N (2016) A review paper on slope stability analysis of Malin landslide. In: TECHNOPHILIA-2016, Jaihind Polytechnic, Kuran, India, pp 101–106Google Scholar
  17. Rahardjo H, Lim TT, Chang MF, Fredlund DG (1995) Shear-strength characteristics of a residual soil. Can Geotech J 32(1):60–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Richards LA (1931) Capillary conduction of liquids through porous mediums. J Appl Phys 1(5):318–333Google Scholar
  19. Schuster RL, Salcedo DA, Valenzuela L (2002) Overview of catastrophic landslides of South America in the twentieth century. Rev Eng Geol 15:1–34CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Sengupta A, Gupta S, Anbarasu K (2010) Rainfall thresholds for the initiation of landslide at Lanta Khola in north Sikkim, India. Nat Hazards 52:31–42CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Spencer E (1967) A method of analysis of the stability of embankments assuming parallel inter-slice forces. Geotechnique 17(1):11–26CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Van Genuchten MT (1980) A closed-form equation for predicting the hydraulic conductivity of unsaturated soils. Soil Sci Soc Am J 44(5):892–898CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Van Sint Jan M, Talloni P (1993) Flujo de sedimentos del 18 de Juniode 1991 en Antofagosta: La Serena, Chile. In Tercer Congreso Chileno de Ingenieria Geotecnia 1:247–265Google Scholar
  24. Vanapalli SK, Fredlund DG, Pufahl DE, Clifton AW (1996) Model for the prediction of shear strength with respect to soil suction. Can Geotech J 33(3):379–392CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Wilson CJ, Dietrich WE (1987) The contribution of bedrock groundwater flow to storm runoff and high pore pressure development in hollows. IAHS AISH Publ 165:49–59Google Scholar
  26. Zope PE, Eldho TI, Jothiprakash V (2016) Development of rainfall intensity duration frequency curves for Mumbai City, India. J Water Resour Prot 8(7):756–765CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringIndian Institute of Technology KharagpurKharagpurIndia

Personalised recommendations