Research concerning slope stability has been going on at the University of Wollongong for about three decades. Starting from conventional geotechnical analysis of slopes, soil testing and site investigation. Over the last decade it has progressed on to the development of Landslide Inventories, the assessment of landslide susceptibility and the assessment of landslide hazard. When combined together with the understanding and assessment of the consequences of landsliding, the risk of landsliding can be examined in detail.
The current phase of the research started in 1993 when Dr Phil Flentje joined Professor Robin Chowdhury.
The research during this current phase is focussed on the assessment and management of landslide susceptibility, hazard and risk. This research has particular relevance to slope stability and landslide management in urban areas including major transport infrastructure such as roads and railway lines. The focus of this work is reflected by our Industry Partners including the Wollongong City Council, RailCorp and the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority. The distinctive features of this research work are:
- a multi-disciplinary approach and research team reflecting such an approach;
- the use of modern GIS-based techniques;
- the development of a comprehensive GIS-based geological inventory including large scale field mapping, compilation of structural features mapping and a borehole database;
- the development of a comprehensive GIS-based landslide inventory for the Wollongong Local Government area;
- currently, the landslide inventory is being expanded to cover the whole of the state of New South Wales reflecting the interests of our industry partners and research team;
- development of qualitative and quantitative methods for the assessment, mapping and management of landslide susceptibility, hazard and risk;
- development of methods for analysis of rainfall data in order to identify landslide triggering rainfall thresholds;
- development of innovative approaches for the periodic and continuous monitoring of individual sites including automated real-time monitoring employing web-based GUI distribution of data.