Landslide susceptibility on selected slopes in Dzanani, Limpopo Province, South Africa
Inherent soil properties and anthropogenic activities on slope faces are considered potential recipes for landslide occurrence. The objectives of this study were to physically characterise unconsolidated soils and identify on-going anthropogenic activities on selected slopes in Dzanani in order to appraise their role as contributory factors in enhancing landslide susceptibility. Methods employed for this study comprised mapping, description of soil profile, identification of anthropogenic activities, as well as experimental determination of soil colour, particle size distribution and Atterberg limits. Geologically, the study area comprised rocks of the Fundudzi, Sibasa and Tshifhefhe Formations, ascribed to the Soutpansberg Group. Digging of foundations for construction purposes and subsistence agriculture were identified as the main anthropogenic activities. The soils were predominantly reddish-yellow in colour, texturally variable (silty clay – clayey – silty clay loam and clay loam) and of medium plasticity. Compared to soils from other parts of the world developed on volcanic cones or associated with a landslide event, those from Dzanani were qualified as generally inactive and not prone to landslides. Although the physical attributes suggested the soils were not at a critical state, on-going anthropogenic activities may enhance deep weathering and ultimately alter current soil physical characteristics to a critical state.
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