Population growth is leading to the development of more marginal areas where the effects of land slides, erosion, problem soils and coastal geohazards are more keenly felt, made worse by impending climate change.
Some of these threats are not related to climate change or major catastrophes. Expansive soils for example have been a problem in South Africa and many other places in the world ever since mankind started founding structures on them, and they have cost the country millions thanks to the damage they cause. Tsunamis always make the headlines, as do earthquakes and it is fortunate that South Africa is considered to be a stable region from a seismicity point of view.
Sink holes are a major cause of concern when developing in dolomitic areas, particularly around Centurion and Pretoria which are underlain by these rock types. The Council for Geoscience has strict guidelines for investigating and developing these areas.
Land slides are a more obvious example of catastrophic failures due to a number of factors both natural and man made. Periods of heavy rainfall in unstable areas may well lead to slides. Problems can be exacerbated by ill considered development, undercutting of the toe of slopes and poor drainage.
GeoZone GeoServices has had many years experience in assessing geohazards including problem soils, slope stability, land slides and dolomite investigations, and can provide an integrated service which may include field investigations, ongoing monitoring using instrumentation, and mitigation measures such as rock fall barriers.
Contact us for assistance in assessing the geohazards related to your project.