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Map data of landslides triggered by the 25 April 2015 Mw 7.8 Gorkha, Nepal earthquake

November 12, 2017

The 25 April 2015 Mw 7.8 Gorkha earthquake and its aftershocks triggered about 25,000 landslides over an area of more than 30,000 km2 in the Greater and Lesser Himalaya of Nepal and China. In order to understand the relation among landslide location, earthquake shaking, topography, tectonic geologic and climatic setting, earthquake-triggered landslides were mapped using high-resolution (<1m pixel resolution) pre- and post-event satellite imagery. Source and runout areas were differentiated and mapped separately. The data accompany an interpretive paper published in the journal Geomorphology.

The published products are separate ESRI ArcMap 10.2.2 shapefiles that comprise: (i) mapped landslide source areas, (ii) mapped landslide full areas (source, transport and deposit area combined), (iii) the extent of geographic areas in which mapping was completed, (iv) obscured areas in which the mapping is incomplete because of the lack of clear, undistorted satellite data from post-earthquake dates, and (v) image quality designation for mapped regions. 24,915 landslide areas were mapped in the full20170209.shp file (full areas) compared to 24,795 landslide areas in the source20170209.shp file (source areas). This small discrepancy in total number arises because of image distortion and partial cloud cover. One hundred forty two of the full areas lack an identifiable source area. Additionally, 10 full areas have 2 corresponding source areas because the full area could not be divided into 2 separate runout areas due to image distortion; 12 other source areas do not have corresponding full areas.

This work was supported by a National Science Foundation (NSF) RAPID award from the Geomorphology and Land Use Dynamics program to West (EAR-1546630) and Clark (EAR-1546631), partially supported by NSF Geomorphology and Land Use Dynamics program (EAR-1640894 to West and EAR-1640797 to Clark and Zekkos), University of Michigan internal award to Clark and Zekkos (MCubed 2.0 Project ID 917) and a Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Research Commission research grant (ETH-15 15-2) awarded to Gallen. We thank Paul Morin from the PGC (Polar Geospatial Center) for providing imagery access and support for acquiring satellite data through a NGA (National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency) cooperative agreement with NSF. We also thank Kristen Cook, William Greenwood, Julie Bateman, Bibek Giri, Maarten Lupker and John Galetzka for their assistance during a 2015 field expedition to Nepal.

Publication Year 2017
Title Map data of landslides triggered by the 25 April 2015 Mw 7.8 Gorkha, Nepal earthquake
DOI 10.5066/F7DZ06F9
Authors Dimitrios Zekkos, Marin K. Clark, Kevin Roback, Sean F. Gallen, A. Joshua West, Gen Li, Deepak Chamlagain, Jonathan W Godt
Product Type Data Release
Record Source USGS Digital Object Identifier Catalog
USGS Organization Landslide Hazards Program