Geoelectrical characterization of a landslide surface for investigating hazard potency, a case study in the Tehran- North freeway, Iran

Document Type : Research Paper


School of Mining Engineering, College of Engineering, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


Landslide, as a geohazard issue, causes enormous threats to human lives and properties. In order to characterize the subsurface prone to the landslide which is occurred in the Tehran-North freeway, Iran, a comprehensive study focused on geological field observations, and a geoelectrical survey as a cost-effective and fast, non-invasive geophysical measurement was conducted in the area. As a result of road construction, problems in this region have increased. The Vertical Electrical Sounding (VES) investigation in the landslide area has been carried out by the Schlumberger array for data acquisition, implementing eight survey profiles varying in length between 60 and 130 m. Based on the electrical resistivity models through a smoothness-constrained least-square inversion methodology, the landslide structure (i.e., depth of the mobilized material and potential sliding surface) is better defined. The inferred lithological units, accompanied by stratigraphical data from a borehole and geological investigations for the prone landslide region, consisted of a discontinuous slip surface, having a wide range of resistivity, observed to be characterized by tuff with silt. Electrical resistivity values above 150 Ωm indicate a basement of weathered marlstone and sand. Values between 15 and 150 Ωm illustrate a shale-content layer with outcrops in the area that is the reason for movement. The sliding surface is at a depth of about 12 m. The method used in this study is a good candidate to investigate the risk of landslides in this region and can be applied to other landslide areas where borehole exploration is inefficient and expensive due to local complications.