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The Geomorphological Hazard of Machu Picchu Citadel and Aguas Calientes Village

Luca Falconi, Claudio Puglisi, Augusto Screpanti, Vladimiro Verrubbi - ENEA, Unità Tecnica Caratterizzazione, Prevenzione e Risanamento Ambientale; Guido Martini, Salvatore Paolini - ENEA, Unità Tecnica Sviluppo di Applicazioni delle Radiazioni


A practical application to assess the natural risks which the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu and the Aguas Calientes village (Cusco, Perù) are subject to was carried out under the INTERFRASI and FORGEO projects. The area is prone to debris flows, low angle rock slides, high-angle rock slides and rock falls. The development of landslides in the bedrock is influenced by the orientation of the joint sets with respect to the topography, whereas those in the coverage essentially depend on the slope angle. The triggering mechanisms are to be found in seismic activity and intense precipitation. In the past, landslides have seriously damaged the archaeological and especially the civil structures, and in Aguas Calientes there have been many casualties. For this reason a procedure to understand the vulnerability and the risks for the anthropic exposed elements, both archaeological and civil, was adopted