Part of the forthcoming British Science Week 2019
Things are Going Downhill Fast: understanding massive landslides
by Professor Dave Petley, Vice-President for Research and Innovation
Wednesday 6 March, The Diamond, 32 Leavygreave Road, S3 7RD
As part of the forthcoming British Science Week 2019, #BSW19 Vice-President for Research and Innovation, Professor Dave Petley, will be delivering this public lecture on his research area.
Landslides are an under-appreciated natural hazard, killing an average of about 10,000 people per year. Even in the UK they can represent a significant threat – for example, the 1966 Aberfan landslide in South Wales killed 144 people, most of them children, whilst Network Rail suffers an average of about 75 earthworks failures per year. Landslides are a natural phenomenon, usually triggered by heavy rainfall or by earthquakes, but there is strong evidence that human activities such as road building in marginally-stable mountainous areas, is increasing their impacts. This talk will use examples from the UK, China, Pakistan and elsewhere to explain how and why landslides occur, and to explore the human and social costs that they incur. The talk will examine the disastrous impacts from the 2008 earthquake in China, and of a single enormous landslide in the mountains of Pakistan in 2010, showing the ways that these events affected the local population for years after the failure. Finally the talk will look at future prospects for landslides in light of climate change and increasing populations.