24 April 2023
The 22 April 2023 landslide at Artvin in Turkey
On 22 April 2023 a large landslide occurred at Artvin in Turkey. The failure was captured on a mobile phone and has been shared via social media. The longer version can be seen on Youtube and should be visible below.
As the video shows, the site of this landslide is an area of huge construction. This is part of the works for the Yusufeli Dam, a 540 MW hydroelectic scheme consisting of a 270 m tall, double-curvature arch dam. This will be the fifth highest dam in the world. Construction has been underway for a decade. The dam itself is located at [40.817, 41.645], but I am unsure as to the precise location of this landslide, which is reported to have been in the vicinity of Yansıticilar-Sakut.
The aftermath of the landslide is seen in the image below:-
The best indication as to the problem at this site can be gleaned from an image at the start of the video:-
The slope is clearly heavily engineered, with extensive benching. The reservoir level is currently being raised, as seen at the foot of the image. It appears that the lower part of the slope has already failed and has been removed, This appears to have debuttressed the remainder of the slope, which then undergoes quite a deep-seated failure. The majority of the movement is translational, but there is perhaps an element of rotation in the upper part of the slope.
Fortunately, the columns for the new highway appear to be unaffected, although the failure is close to two of them. There will inevitably be questions about the stability of the slope upon which the piers are standing, given the proximity to the failed slope, meaning that it will be essential to get a full understanding of the cause of this failure. The water level still has to rise a very large distance. Hurriyet hints that the failure had been anticipated.