Landslide form and hillslope morphology: An example from new zealand

R. J. Blong*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Comparison of landside and hillslope morphometric attributes for the sample from the upper Mangawhara catchment reveals that there is little discernible relationship between the two. Neither shear plane shape nor location is related to hillslope form. Landslide type, landslide depositional characteristics, and shear plane size are quite unrelated to hillslope size, shape, or surface irregularity. With one exception, the only significant correlations are between shear plane gradient and hillslope form or between hillslope gradient and shear plane depositional characteristics Thus, there is a strong positive connexion between shear plane gradient and the slope of the hillslope prior to failure. Furthermore, the steeper the hillslope the smaller the proportion of redeposited material remaining on the shear plane. Either as a result of this last relationship or because of a connexion between hillslope gradient and parent material, flows tend to be concentrated on steeper slopes and translational failures on more gentle gradients. This relationship between landslide type and hillslope gradient may partly explain, through the varying nature of landslide deposition, the decline in hillslope surface irregularity noticeable with increasing hillslope gradient. The results presented here refer only to one sample from one area. Comparable studies have not been undertaken, and there can be no valdity in general conclusions concerning the nature of the connexions between hillslope form and landslide form. Where individual results can be compared with those culled from the literature, the results are seldom unequivocal and some appear to be contradictory. Further detailed studies of local areas are necessary before general conclusions can be announced. Dr C. F. Pain, now of the New Zealand Soil Bureau D.S.I.R., assisted with a number of the field measurements on which this paper is based. Keith and Sandra McDonald, Forest Reserve Road, Hoe-o-tainui, provided hospitality on innumerable occasions. Professor I. Dougas, University of New England, and Mr R. J. Wasson, Macquarie University made valuable comments on an early draft of the manuscript. Financial assistance was provided by the Research Funds of The University of Sydney and Macquarie University.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)425-438
Number of pages14
JournalAustralian Geographer
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 1974


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