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Investigaciones geográficas

versão On-line ISSN 2448-7279versão impressa ISSN 0188-4611

Resumo

VALERIO, Víctor Carlos; LOPEZ MIGUEL, Celia  e  ALCANTARA AYALA, Irasema. Mass movement processes associated with volcanic structures in Mexico City. Invest. Geog [online]. 2012, n.79, pp.48-74. ISSN 2448-7279.

Mexico City, one of the most populated areas of the world, has been affected by various hazards of natural origin, such as subsidence and cracking of the soil, seismicity, floods and mass movement processes (MMPs). Owing to the lack of space on the plain, in recent years urban growth has been concentrated particularly on the slopes of the surrounding mountain ranges, and this has significantly modified the dynamics of the relief as well as the hydrogeological conditions. The specific character of natural susceptibility to mass movements is strongly dependent on the geological-structural and morphological characteristics of the volcanic bodies that form the mountainous relief. This natural susceptibility, combined with the characteristics of vulnerability of the society, creates risk conditions that can generate severe consequences for the population and the economy. Hence, based on an inventory of mass movement processes comprising 95 data points, the present study aimed to achieve a zoning of the areas susceptible to these processes, as well as to characterize the mechanisms of instability in the volcanic structures that form the relief of the area in question. The results of this work clearly show the role of the lithology, the mode of emplacement and the morpho-structural characteristics of the volcanic structures, in the types of mass movement processes. In addition, it identifies the diverse activities of anthropogenic origin that favour slope instability in the zone: deforestation and burning of rubbish, felling of timber on the slopes for building infrastructure and dwellings, leakages of water, vibrations of vehicles, rotating machinery and the use of explosives in mining works, overloading the heads of the slopes, disturbance of the geohydrological regime, generation of rubbish tips, terracing of the slopes for cultivation, inadequate building regulations, and the use of counterproductive or ineffectual stabilization measures.

Palavras-chave : Mass movement processes; Mexico City; susceptibility; GIS.

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