• Nurul Iffah Ismail School of Environmental and Natural Resources Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, UKM, 43600, Selangor, Malaysia
  • Wan Zuhairi Wan Yaacob School of Environmental and Natural Resources Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, UKM, 43600, Selangor, Malaysia



Electrical Resistivity Tomography, borehole, SPT N-value, engineering properties, slope failure


Electrical Resistivity Tomography (ERT) is a commonly used tool in near surface geophysical surveys to investigate numerous geological, environmental, and engineering problems including landslides. In this study, an electrical resistivity survey was conducted at a landslide area, located in Bukit Setiawangsa, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. On 29th December 2012, a luxury hilltop bungalow was split into two when a 43m retaining wall was collapsed after a continuous heavy downpour. 2-D electrical resistivity survey have been acquired along two (2) profiles on the adjacent slope in an effort to mitigate the risks of instability, especially during the rectification work of the failed slope using a Schlumberger Array. It produced useful information about the geometry and characteristics of the study area. In addition, the 2-D resistivity method was performed to determine the behaviour of electrical resistivity underlying the slope areas and estimate the location of the failure surface. Four (4) boreholes were also drilled to obtain engineering properties of the study area such as soil classification, moisture content, soil hardness and SPT N-value.  In order to develop the relationship between resistivity and engineering properties, a comparison between soil hardness and the resistivity value was made. Results from the ERT indicated the presence of zones with low resistivity values identified as percolated water in permeable loose soil, which was believed to be the potential slip surface. The findings of this study also showed that the electrical resistivity imaging coupled with borehole drillings were useful tools for the characterisation of slope failure via subsurface profiles and engineering properties of soil.

Author Biographies

  • Nurul Iffah Ismail, School of Environmental and Natural Resources Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, UKM, 43600, Selangor, Malaysia

    Nurul Iffah Ismail was born in Seremban, N.Sembilan on 21 April 1989. She is currently a post-graduate student in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) pursuing her MSc in engineering geology. She graduated from Curtin University of Technology in Bachelor of Science (Applied Geology) in 2012. She has working experiences concerning engineering geology- related to geotechnical forensic projects including slope stability, groundwater and etc. Mrs. Nurul Iffah Ismail is a registered graduate geology of Board of Geologists Malaysia and member of Institute of Geology Malaysia.

  • Wan Zuhairi Wan Yaacob, School of Environmental and Natural Resources Science, Faculty of Science and Technology, UKM, 43600, Selangor, Malaysia

    Assc. Prof. Dr Wan Zuhairi Wan Yaacob graduated with Bachelor of Science (Honors) in Geology from the University Kebangsaan  Malaysia  in  1995.  He  completed  his  Master of  Science  in  Engineering Geology  and  Doctorate  degree in  Environmental  Geology  at the  University  of  Wales, Cardiff, United Kingdom in 1997 and 2000 respectively.


    Currently, he serves as Postgraduate Coordinator and Lecturer at the Programme of Geology, School of Natural Resources and the Environments,  Faculty  of  Science  and Technology,  Universiti Kebangsaan  Malaysia  since 2000. Some of research that has been carried out are related with suitability of some local soils as  landfill  lining  material;  the environmental  performance  of  some  existing  municipal local landfills or dumping ground.


    He  has  published  several technical  papers  locally and internationally.   He  is  a  member  of Geological Society   of Malaysia,   Institute   of  Geology   Malaysia, International Association   of Engineering Geology and theenvironments as well as fellow, Geological Society of London.


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