Assessment of impact of mass movements on the upper Tayyah valley's bridge along Shear escarpment highway, Asir region (Saudi Arabia) using remote sensing data and field investigation
A. M. Youssef1,2, M. Al-Kathery2, and B. Pradhan31Geology Department, Faculty of Science, Sohag University, Egypt 2Geological Hazards Department, Applied Geology Sector, Saudi Geological Survey, 54141, Jeddah 21514, KSA 3Department of Civil Engineering, Geospatial Information Science Research Center (GISRC), Faculty of Engineering, University Putra, Malaysia
Received: 30 Sep 2014 – Accepted for review: 16 Dec 2014 – Discussion started: 20 Jan 2015
Abstract. Escarpment highways, roads and mountainous areas in Saudi Arabia are facing landslide hazards that are frequently occurring from time to time causing considerable damage to these areas. Shear escarpment highway is located in the north of the Abha city. It is the most important escarpment highway in the area, where all the light and heavy trucks and vehicle used it as the only corridor that connects the coastal areas in the western part of the Saudi Arabia with the Asir and Najran Regions. More than 10 000 heavy trucks and vehicles use this highway every day. In the upper portion of Tayyah valley of Shear escarpment highway, there are several landslide and erosion potential zones that affect the bridges between tunnel 7 and 8 along the Shear escarpment Highway. In this study, different types of landslides and erosion problems were considered to access their impacts on the upper Tayyah valley's bridge along Shear escarpment highway using remote sensing data and field investigation. These landslides and erosion problems have a negative impact on this section of the highway. Results indicate that the areas above the highway and bridge level between bridge 7 and 8 have different landslides including planar, circular, rockfall failures and debris flows. In addition, running water through the gullies cause different erosional (scour) features between and surrounding the bridge piles and culverts. A detailed landslides and erosion features map was created based on intensive field investigation (geological, geomorphological, and structural analysis), and interpretation of Landsat image 15 m and high resolution satellite image (QuickBird 0.61 m), shuttle radar topography mission (SRTM 90 m), geological and topographic maps. The landslides and erosion problems could exhibit serious problems that affect the stability of the bridge. Different mitigation and remediation strategies have been suggested to these critical sites to minimize and/or avoid these problems in the future.
Youssef, A. M., Al-Kathery, M., and Pradhan, B.: Assessment of impact of mass movements on the upper Tayyah valley's bridge along Shear escarpment highway, Asir region (Saudi Arabia) using remote sensing data and field investigation, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., 3, 497-533, doi:10.5194/nhessd-3-497-2015, 2015.