A geomorphological investigation of the excavation induced Dundar Landslide, Turkey

ERGİNAL A. E. , TÜRKEŞ M. , Ertek A., Baba A., Bayrakdar C.

GEOGRAFISKA ANNALER SERIES A-PHYSICAL GEOGRAPHY, vol.90, no.2, pp.109-123, 2008 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 90 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Page Numbers: pp.109-123


This paper discusses the occurrence and development of the excavation-induce deep-seated landslide, which took place near Dündar village, located west of Orhaneli town in northwestern Turkey. The event occurred in the Bursa-Orhaneli lignite field, which has been actively operating since 1979. Due to undermining of a gently inclined slope (10°) to extract a coal seam, primary tension cracks, which were precursors of the movement, were first observed in the northern head area in mid- to late October 2003. This movement happened simultaneously with precipitation that was significantly above long-term average measured at a nearby climatology station (Keles). This precipitation amount is characterized statistically by a significant standardized anomaly of 1.6. The majority of the monthly precipitation total in October 2003, which mainly consisted of rain showers and thunderstorms, occurred in the last week of the month. By April 2004, rotational failure continued intermittently. After a relatively wet (rainy and snowy) period from January 2004 to April 2004, the main rotational slump occurred in late April 2004, causing the entire destruction of Dündar village's cemetery. Daily climatic and synoptic meteorological data have proved that heavy showers in late April may had triggered the last slump by producing rain showers of 19.3 mm and 19.9 mm daily total on 27 and 28 April 2004, respectively.

Field observations carried out along the main head scarp have shown that the slope failure was facilitated by a pre-existing normal fault with an east- west direction and 80° dip. Grain-size analysis showed that the failure occurred on clayey silt, which forms 55% of the slip surface material. Based on the evidence from X-ray fluorescence and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy results, smectite-type clay - a product of the chemical weathering of tuff - was the main constituent of the slip surface material. The landslide occurred over an area of 600 m × 650 m with a total volume of 8775 000 m3. Approximately 28 hectares of farm land were entirely destroyed and the excavated coal seam was buried. The mining operation was moved to 100 m north of the landslide area near Gümüşpınar village. From morphological evidence, it is concluded that excavation activities caused the failure to extend in more than one direction as an enlarging sliding mechanism; this produced a high landslide risk for Gümüşpınar village, where the most significant normal fault with a 75 m vertical displacement in a coal-bearing sequence is found in the lignite field.