Chemical and mineralogical heterogeneities of weathered igneous profiles: implications for landslide investigations
Landslides in tropical and sub-tropical regions are generally associated with weathered rock profiles which often possess chemical and mineralogical heterogeneities at material- and mineral-scales. Such heterogeneities reach a climax by the occurrences of oxyhydroxide- and clay-rich zones. Weakness and low permeability of these zones makes them ideal for the development of slip zones along which landslides take place. This paper describes the nature and distribution of chemical and mineralogical heterogeneities within weathered profiles developed from felsic igneous rocks in Hong Kong. It sets out the use of integrated geochemical and mineralogical studies to improve understanding of the development of critical heterogeneities and hence to predict their types and presence in a given weathered profile.