Case studies to support stability assessments for resilient development in Northland

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Case studies to support stability assessments for resilient development in Northland

ABSTRACT
At the heart of a resilient community is building on land with a low instability risk. With population
growth driving development in Northland new buildings are intersecting the area’s complex and
commonly unstable geology on a frequent basis. For Northland to be building a resilient community
it is essential the engineers, geologists and technicians assessing land stability are equipped to do it
well. They need to remember to look past the natural inclination to please the client with a positive
result, ensuring we are building resilient communities by building on only the right land.
In assessing land stability there is a lot of “grey” and significant judgement is required. This paper
sets out to demonstrate some of the key tools in land stability assessment by presenting observations
from six known landslips in a range of settings across North Auckland and Northland. In these
assessments the author reflects, “without prior knowledge could the site have been identified as
potentially unstable?”.
The paper presents use of site observations, site setting, historic and recent aerial photography,
LIDAR, text references and mapped geology as the basis of the assessments. It intends to provide
cases that can be used to build judgement for assessing land stability in Northland and to serve as a
reminder that relic observable landslip features often do have ongoing intermittent movement.

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