A series of landslide in Northern Ireland last summer, which killed livestock and destroyed farmland, have been described by a slope stability specialist as a “one in 3,000 year event”.
Kingston University associate professor in engineering geology Alan Dyke told farmers affected by the 13 landslide in the Glenelly Valley that it was an incident that was unlikely to be repeated.
The slope failures occurred when more than 50mm of rainfall fell in three hours last August. Dykes is reported to have said that the water built up in a non-porous mineral layer under the peat, called an iron pan. “The pressure then caused the supersaturated peat to slide off it and down the mountain into the valley,” he said.
Dykes described it as a very rare event, which was unlikely to be repeated.
Many of the farmers affected by the incident have yet to return the land to agricultural use due to the amount of silt covering fields.