Typical landslides and related mechanisms in Ali Mountain highway induced by typhoon Morakot: Perspectives from engineering geology

Chia Nan Liu, Jia Jyun Dong, Chi Jen Chen, Wei Fong Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Typhoon Morakot caused serious damage to southern Taiwan. Almost all major mountain highways located in the affected region suffered severe damage from landslides, rock falls, and debris flows. Among these highways, Ali Mountain Highway is one of the most severely affected. Ali Mountain Highway, i. e., T18 route, was constructed in the early 1980s. For the past 30 years of operation, it has suffered substantial damage from different natural hazards. The continued damage-rehabilitation cycle is implemented to maintain the serviceability of this highway. Ali Mountain Highway was seriously damaged by the strike of typhoon Morakot on August 8, 2009. Traffic through this highway was interrupted for over 3 months until temporary rehabilitation was completed. This paper provides a summary of the damage suffered along the Ali Mountain Highway and presents suggestions for mitigation strategies to minimize the likelihood of similar levels of damage during other extreme typhoons such as the typhoon Morakot. The manuscript summarizes extensive field surveys and aerial photo analysis carried out by the authors to investigate the mechanisms of typical slope failures along the Ali Mountain Highway. The engineering geology perspectives are emphasized in the analyses. Geological and hydrogeological features for the sites in this study were found to be the most influential factors dominating the failures. The fault-related weak zones and impermeable layers dominated the global stability of the slopes. In summary, geotechnical engineers should consider carefully the characteristics of geological structures for mitigation and rehabilitation of landslides. Extreme scenarios, such as typhoon Morakot, should also be considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)239-254
Number of pages16
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2012


  • Ali Mountain Highway
  • Geological structure
  • Landslide mechanism
  • Typhoon Morakot


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