Proposing a Theoretical GIS Model for Landslides Analysis : The Case of Mount Cameroon
This study presents a theoretical GIS model to investigate the relative impacts of geomorphic and environmental factors that govern the occurrence of landslides on the slopes of Mount Cameroon and its surrounding areas. The study area is located along the Cameroon Volcanic Line (CVL), a major structural feature that originates from the south Atlantic and continues into the continental landmass. The quite frequent seismic activity, geologic character, humid tropical climate and high human pressure on hill slopes are the major factors behind the occurrence of landslides in Mount Cameroon. This paper, therefore, underscores the necessity of in-depth follow-up studies concerned with landslides prevention and management based on the relevance of sufficient reliable field methods in landform geomorphology and interpretation. As much is yet to be done to acquire data for structural and surface geology, hydrology, geomorphic processes and physiography of Mount Cameroon, it is difficult at this point in time to considerably apply suitable methods using GIS that would enable identifying and delineating the landslide-prone areas. In addition, the application of environmental surface monitoring instruments will not be meaningful without a clear presentation of which areas are a cause for concern (given that the employment of any slope stability monitoring and rehabilitation efforts will be only possible after appropriate problem-area identification has been done). Consequently, based on the writer’s previous work in the Mount Cameroon area and available related literature, a methodology using GIS is proposed, which provides the capability to demonstrate how the impact of individual or collective geomorphologic site-specific factors on landslides occurrence could be justified. Considering that digital data may not be readily available, a procedure for the creation of data and analysis of themes is proposed and illustrated. The factors analysis approach in landslides analysis may be cheaper and easier to employ in Mount Cameroon and similar problem regions in developing countries (given that there may be problems of limited financial resources and available expertise in GIS technology and applications). The study underscores and recommends the necessity for a later practical implementation with the availability of adequate resources.
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