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Reduction Of Landslide Risk By The Use Of Mild Explosives: The Case Of Rhodes City (Greece)


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E. Lekkas


Reduction of landslide risk by the use of mild explosives: the case of Rhodes city (Greece) E. Lekkas Department of Geology, University of Athens, Greece Abstract The historic hill of Monte Smith commands a splendid view of Rhodes city (Dodekanese -Greece) which attracts thousands of tourists every year. The road that connects the city with the airport passes along the northern hill slopes, which host extensive landslides and rockfalls because of an erodible formation, which provides gradually decreasing support for the overlying, competent one. Such phenomena are continuous and are quite exacerbated during strong earthquakes. Because of the character of the region, the touristic importance and generally the necessity for preservation of the physio - geographical image, many solutions - methods have been suggested in order to deal with the problem. The most advantageous one was the demolition of the unstable rock blocks using explosives. This method proved to be quite effective, as no landslides have occurred since its implementation. 1 Introduction The city of Rhodes is situated at the NE part of the island and has been an economic, commercial and administrative center of the wider area for many centuries. The past decades tourism has developed astoundingly all over the island and consequently many parts of the island have flourished. The airport, about 10 km SW of the city, handles more than 1.000.000 passengers every year. The road that connects the city of Rhodes with the airport passes alongside the western slopes of Monte Smith hill, which are quite steep (slope gradient > 100% at places) (Fig. 1). A problem that has emerged the recent decades after the construction of the road is the continuous landslides and the rockfalls at the foot of the slope that