9 February 2012

Comparing initial landslide reports: Tumbi Quarry, Papua New Guinea and Kaikora, New Zealand

Posted by Dave Petley


Several people have asked what I mean by a proper landslide investigation with respect to the report on the Tumbi Quarry landslide.  To illustrate, one might compare these two reports:

1. The Tumbi Quarry landslide report, prepared by the National Disaster Center.

2. Report on the landslide that blocked SH 1 and the railway line near Rosy Morn Stream south of Kaikoura on 10 September 2010, prepared by GNS Science as part of the Geonet programme.

The GNS report is not long, and nor is it highly detailed.  However, it is throrough, it investiogates and describes the landslide properly, and it allows evidence-based conclusions to be drawn about he landslide and its triggers and causes.

This should be the minimum level of report for a major landslide event.  Of course, in New Zealand (or indeed the UK) a landslide that killed 25 or more people would probably be investigated in very much more detail.