Geological controls in slope failure and landslide hazards, main boundary thrust zone, Murree Hills, North Pakistan

I. A. Abbasi*, M. A. Khan, S. Hadi, M. Ishfaq, P. K. Mool

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The summer resort of Murree and adjoining areas in north Pakistan inherit slope instability due to its incompetent lithologies and deformation associated with major thrust faults such as the Main Boundary Thrust (MBT). Shear zones associated with folds and active faults including MBT, induced natural instability in the rocks of the Murree Hills. Ever increasing population pressure, deforestation, large-scale construction works in the form of residential and commercial buildings and road network have further aggravated the problem. The area is comprised of shale, siltstone and sandstone belonging to the Oligocene-Miocene Murree and Kuldana formations. The MBT is an emergent thrust in the area, which brings Eocene and older formations over the Miocene rocks. In order to study the landslides and other mass movement related problems in Murree, an area around the main town and along the Murree-Kashmir Highway is selected for detailed analysis of the problem. The eastern slopes of the Murree ridge, and the road section between Jhika Gali and Aliot village are worst affected by the landsliding. Around Murree town, major landslides such as Shifang Hotel, Midway and MIT landslides, located on the upslope of the Jhika Gali-Lawrence College Bypass road are caused by inadequate drainage system from the city centre (Murree ridge). In most part of the area around Murree ridge, creep is a common phenomenon in thick colluvium cover due to obvious loss of vegetation. The area between Jhika Gali and Aliot village is also affected by landsliding, and some of the largest landslides such as Aliot, Birgran and Kasseri landslides have inflicted great damage to farm and forestland. This area is located in the footwall of the MBT and is deformed by folding and termination splays associated with it. Most of the landslides initiated at the colluvium-bedrock interface, but once initiated the tension cracks spread into the bedrock and therefore causing the failure in it. Major landslides in the area exhibit a complex array of joint/fracture pattern both parallel and perpendicular to the bedding, and in various ways contribute to the mass movement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Asian Earth Sciences
Issue number3A
Publication statusPublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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