During many decades, the town of Moulay Yacoub underwent an important urban expansion to meet the high demand on housing fuelled by tourism activities, which constitute the backbone of the town’s economy. Unfortunately, the majority of buildings, both private and public, suffer from varying levels of damage related to the lithological, climate, and geomorphic settings of the area. In fact, the town is built on a marly hill prone to various types of mass movements, ranging from shallow soil creep to large slides. In addition, vertical displacement related to swelling/shrinkage behaviour of these Miocene marls is widespread in the area. The present paper presents a multi-disciplinary approach to investigate the activity and the interaction between slow-moving urban landslides and expansive soils within the urban perimeter of Moulay Yacoub. In fact, the severe seasonal contrast characterised by intense rainfall over short periods constitutes the main triggering factor of the instability phenomena in the region. Moreover, the desiccation cracks affecting marly soils are indicators of their expansive behaviour, which is very obvious in geotechnical tests results. The other geotechnical parameters obtained from laboratory tests show that the shallow marl samples are severely weathered compared with those of the compact material extracted at greater depth. The borehole data and seismic noise survey allows the detection of several impedance contrasts corresponding to the weathered layer – bedrock boundary, which in some cases corresponds to the rupture surface of the inventoried landslides. The very slow but perennial activity of the later processes is well documented by the inclinometers, the PS-InSAR monitoring, and building damage assessment surveys. Indeed, this case study highlights the complementarity of techniques used in this multi-disciplinary approach that give a multi-faceted understanding of slope instability processes and should provide a blueprint for future site-specific studies in the region.
Multi-criteria assessment approach of slow-moving urban landslide hazard: the case of Moulay Yacoub, Morocco
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Ilias Obda, Younes El Kharim, Ali Bounab, Abderrahim Lahrach, Mohammed Ahniche, Hamou Mansouri; Multi-criteria assessment approach of slow-moving urban landslide hazard: the case of Moulay Yacoub, Morocco. Canadian Journal of Earth Sciences 2021;; 59 (5): 300–317. doi: https://doi.org/10.1139/cjes-2021-0064
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