Engineers Australia

Examples of landslides in the Adelaide metropolitan area

Lyndon Sanders and Alan Moon


This paper provides a brief overview of landslides in the Adelaide metropolitan area. Most landslides in this area occur in the Adelaide Hills or along the coastline, and those form the subject of the paper. Landslides associated with creek or river valleys on the plains or occurring in cuts and fills are not addressed.

Brief case histories are presented illustrating different types of landslide. The main purposes of the paper are to describe the types of landslides that happen and to provide some guidance on what to look for when assessing the stability of slopes in the Adelaide area.

For the purposes of this paper, the Adelaide metropolitan area is assumed to coincide with the 1984 Adelaide Metropolitan Planning Region shown in Figure 1. The area extends from Sellicks Beach in the south to Gawler in the north – about 90 km. Gulf St Vincent forms the western boundary and the area stretches around 35 km at its widest to an irregular eastern boundary running through the Adelaide Hills. The highest point is Mount Lofty (710 m) which is about 15 km south west of the city centre.