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Slope Stability

The physical character of the City of North Vancouver is defined by the creeks and ravines that border and define its neighbourhoods.

Our spectacular topographical context for our mountainside community creates its own challenges, especially with slope stability.

Landslides are caused when the stability of a slope changes from a stable to an unstable condition. A change in the stability of a slope can be caused by a number of factors, acting together or alone.

Unstable slopes can be caused by:

  • groundwater pressure acting to destabilize the slope
  • weakening of a slope through saturation by heavy rains
  • loss of vertical vegetation (eg trees and bushes)
  • earthquakes adding loads to barely-stable slopes
  • vibrations from machinery or traffic
  • blasting
  • earthwork which alters the shape of a slope, or which imposes new loads on an existing slope
  • in shallow soils, the removal of deep-rooted vegetation
  • construction, agricultural, or forestry activities which change the amount of water which infiltrates into the soil.

Steep Terrain

In 2008, the City of North Vancouver began a city wide review of landslide risk. This work followed up on the experience gained during the study of land slide risk along the east bank of Mosquito Creek. The Preliminary Geotechnical Study prepared by BGC Engineering Inc dated April 24, 2009 identified several properties that detailed investigations were warranted on for 18 properties (in addition to the 8 properties on the east side of Mosquito Creek). The report also recommended that additional moderate risk properties be reassessed within five years or less, if warranted by change conditions (such as an extreme rainfall event or earthquake). Presentation materials and Meeting Notes from the Open House held on June 24, 2009 are provided below.

Following up on the recommendations in the above noted 2009 BGC Engineering report, a geotechnical consultant was retained to complete a detailed assessment of properties identified to have a "high" or higher partial risk of being damaged by a landslide. The properties investigated include those listed in the BGC report plus two additional properties identified during field investigations. The Phase 2 Geotechnical Stability Study - Detailed Risk Analysis dated December 2011 was completed by GES Geotech and copies of the report have been issued to the affected property owners. An Open House was held on January 26th, 2012 to discuss the report and follow up meetings were offered to affected individuals.

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