Natural Hazards

, Volume 93, Issue 2, pp 577–600 | Cite as

Stability and sensitivity analysis of Himalayan road cut debris slopes: an investigation along NH-58, India

  • T. Siddque
  • S. P. Pradhan
Original Paper


The complex geological environment due to active tectonics and varied lithology with multiple phases of deformation and metamorphism led to a rugged topography and large destabilization of slopes in the Himalayan region. However, the ever-rising activities due to various ongoing developmental and urbanization processes in the region are contributing to instability of slopes. The significant number of causalities and massive economic loss is deliberately endangering Himalayan ecosystem due to landslide-related phenomena. Transportation corridors within Himalayan terrain experience frequent landslides, particularly the sections manifested by debris slopes. From several decades, the national highway-58, in Uttarakhand, Himalayas, has been endangered due to diverse and incessant slope failures. The present investigation demonstrates the stability appraisal along the strategic transportation corridor. These studies incorporate the various issues and causes pertaining to debris slides from Rishikesh to Devprayag, Uttarakhand. The numerical simulation assessment was undertaken by deterministic and sensitivity analyses by conventional limit equilibrium methods which is being augmented by much advanced and robust finite element tool. Factor of safety for each slope was determined, and correspondingly, best efficient slope stabilization remedies were proposed to enhance the stability of slopes. It is recommended that such strategic slope stability assessment should be performed within different vulnerable sections of the Himalayas and likewise regions for fruitful and sustainable step toward disaster mitigation.


Slope stability Numerical simulation Limit equilibrium method (LEM) Finite element method (FEM) Landslides 



Authors are thankful to NRDMS Division, Department of Science and Technology, Government of India, for financial support during field work. The authors are also thankful to Rock Sciences and Engineering Laboratory, IIT Bombay, for simulation work.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Earth SciencesIndian Institute of Technology RoorkeeRoorkeeIndia
  2. 2.Department of GeologyAligarh Muslim UniversityAligarhIndia

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