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Discussion papers | Copyright
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 27 Aug 2018

Research article | 27 Aug 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).

Landsliding near Enguri dam (Caucasus, Georgia) and possible seismotectonic effects

Alessandro Tibaldi1, Paolo Oppizzi2, John Gierke3, Thomas Oommen3, Nino Tsereteli4, and Davit Odilavadze4 Alessandro Tibaldi et al.
  • 1University of Milan Bicocca, Milan, Italy
  • 2Geolog, Chiasso, Switzerland
  • 3Michigan Technological University, Houghton, USA
  • 4M. Nodia Institute of Geophysics, M. Javakhishvili Tbilisi State University, Georgia

Abstract. The Enguri dam and water reservoir, nested in southwestern Caucasus (Republic of Georgia), are surrounded by steep mountain slopes. At a distance of 2.5km from the dam, a mountain ridge along the reservoir is affected by active deformations with a double vergence. The western slope, directly facing the reservoir, has deformations that involve a subaerial area of 1.2km2. The head scarp interests the main Jvari–Khaishi–Mestia road with offset of man-made features that indicate slip rates of 2–9cm/y. Static, pseudostatic and Newmark numerical analyses, based on field and seismological data, suggest different unstable rock volumes basing on the environment conditions. An important effect of variation of water table is showed, as well as the possible destabilization of the landslide following seismic shaking compatible with the expected local Peak Ground Acceleration. This worst scenario corresponds to an unstable volume in the order of up to 48±12*106m3. The opposite, eastern slope of the same mountain ridge is also affected by wide deformation involving an area of 0.37km2. Here, field data indicate 2–5cm/y of short-term and long-term slip rates. Ground Penetrating Radar surveys of the head scarps confirm that these slip planes are steep and extend downward. All these evidences are interpreted as resulting from two similar landslides, whose possible causes are discussed, comprising seismic triggering, mountain rapid uplift, river erosion and lake variations.

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Short summary
In the framework of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Program, we increased the knowledge about the geohazards affecting the Enguri hydroelectrical plant (SW Caucasus, Georgia). At 2 km from the dam, active deformation (2–5 cm/y) affects a slope facing the water reservoir. Our field, seismological and numerical analyses show that the worst scenario is represented by seismic shaking with a local Peak Ground Acceleration capable of generating an unstable rock volume of up to 48 ± 12 * 106 m3.
In the framework of the NATO Science for Peace and Security Program, we increased the knowledge...