Landslide Research


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.
  • GIS ‐ based Landslide Inventory and Landslide Susceptibility Modelling across the Sydney Basin 
  • Landslide Inventory Development within New South Wales
  • Landslide Susceptibility and Hazard Assessment and Zoning within the Wollongong City Council Local Government Area
  • RailCorp Real Time Monitoring along the South Coast Railway line
  • RTA Real Time Monitoring along Mount Ousley Road
  • Wollongong City Council Real Time Monitoring at selected urban locations
  • Geelong City Council Real Time Monitoring of the Dell landslide at Clifton Springs
  • Mineral Resources Tasmania Real Time Monitoring at the Taroona landslide in Hobart
  • Development of web-based Graphical User Interfaces to facilitate secure yet wide audience data transmission in real-time
  • Development of strategies/methodologies and employing use of equipment to facilitate real-time communications between field monitoring sites and University server
  • University of Wollongong Landslide Research Team web page development
  • Teaching at the Geology for Engineers Course in Adelaide in May 2008
  • Development of the AGS Engineering Geology Course in Wollongong which is currently proposed to run in September - October 2010 and thereafter every 2 years.
  • GIS ‐ based Landslide Inventory and Landslide Susceptibility Modelling across the Sydney Basin
  • University of Wollongong GIS-based Landslide Inventory of the Wollongong region
  • Monitoring of landslide performance and landslide frequency
  • Landslide Triggering rainfall thresholds
  • Landslide Hazard and Risk Management
  • Landslide Susceptibility and Hazard derived from a Landslide Inventory using Data Mining
  • Extension of landslide inventory development & susceptibility modelling to regions of NSW, beyond the Illawarra & to other Australian states

Research Topics

Contact Us

The key members of the Landslide Research Team (LRT) are:

Dr Phil Flentje (Coordinator LRT)
Senior Research Fellow
Department of Civil, Mining and Environmental Engineering
Faculty of Engineering
University of Wollongong

Phone: 02 4221 3056
Fax: 02 4221 3238

Professor Robin Chowdhury
Emeritus Professor
Department of Civil, Mining and Environmental Engineering
Faculty of Engineering
University of Wollongong

Phone: 02 4221 3037
Fax: 02 4221 3238

Note - for a list of off-campus Associates go to Staff.