The Influence of Increasing Rainfall Intensity on Forest Slope Stability in Aso Volcanic Area, Japan
In July 2012, the city of Aso in Kumamoto Prefecture experienced extreme heavy rainfall counting up to 106 mm/hr. The immediate result of heavy rainfall in these regions took the form of numerous landslides and debris flows. This rainfall-induced landslide claimed casualties of more than 20 lives. Field investigations were conducted on two slopes in Aso Teno and Aso Nakasakanashi to collect data from the field. Rainfall increasing trends were statistically investigated using Mann-Kendall rank correlation and Sen’s slope estimator in order to obtain the rate of increasing maximum hourly rainfall trends. Numerical analysis (Finite Element Method) was employed in this study to elucidate the influences of increasing maximum hourly rainfall to forest slope stability. The obtained results indicated that the maximum hourly rainfall in Aso has been increasing at the rate of 0.52 mm/hr/yr. The increase of maximum hourly rainfall negatively influences the slope stability of the study area. Therefore, under this increasing rainfall rate, it is possible for many forest slopes to become unstable and prone to landslide disaster in the near future.
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