Influence of earthquakes on the stability of slopes

Robert Hack*, Dinand Alkema, Gerard A.M. Kruse, Noud Leenders, Lucia Luzi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


Earthquakes are a major trigger for instability of natural and man-made slopes. Often the instability of slopes due to an earthquake causes more destruction and kills more people than the actual earthquake itself. A comparison is made between different methodologies to analyze the potential stability of slopes during earthquakes. Theoretically, it seems simple to calculate the stability of a slope during an earthquake. In reality, however, the stability is influenced by so many parameters that are either not known or which influence is so poorly known that a decent estimation of stability cannot be made. Offshore the situation is worse because proper data required for stability calculations are even less available than onshore. On- and offshore, erosion and weathering create continuously slopes that may become unstable during a future earthquake, offshore also sedimentation creates continuously new slopes. Another fundamental problem in stability analysis is the complicated and largely unknown behavior of seismic waves in three-dimensions in natural materials. The lack of accurate data and the unknown behavior of seismic waves in three-dimensions make estimations of slope stability during an earthquake unreliable.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4-15
Number of pages12
JournalEngineering geology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 23 Apr 2007


  • Armenia
  • Crocodile
  • Earthquake
  • Roermond
  • Slope
  • Stability
  • Umbria-Marche
  • ESA
  • ADLIB-ART-2552
  • 2024 OA procedure


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