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Presentation and analysis of a worldwide database of earthquake-induced landslide inventories

October 1, 2017

Earthquake-induced landslide (EQIL) inventories are essential tools to extend our knowledge of the relationship between earthquakes and the landslides they can trigger. Regrettably, such inventories are difficult to generate and therefore scarce, and the available ones differ in terms of their quality and level of completeness. Moreover, access to existing EQIL inventories is currently difficult because there is no centralized database. To address these issues, we compiled EQIL inventories from around the globe based on an extensive literature study. The database contains information on 363 landslide-triggering earthquakes and includes 66 digital landslide inventories. To make these data openly available, we created a repository to host the digital inventories that we have permission to redistribute through the U.S. Geological Survey ScienceBase platform. It can grow over time as more authors contribute their inventories. We analyze the distribution of EQIL events by time period and location, more specifically breaking down the distribution by continent, country, and mountain region. Additionally, we analyze frequency distributions of EQIL characteristics, such as the approximate area affected by landslides, total number of landslides, maximum distance from fault rupture zone, and distance from epicenter when the fault plane location is unknown. For the available digital EQIL inventories, we examine the underlying characteristics of landslide size, topographic slope, roughness, local relief, distance to streams, peak ground acceleration, peak ground velocity, and Modified Mercalli Intensity. Also, we present an evaluation system to help users assess the suitability of the available inventories for different types of EQIL studies and model development.

Publication Year 2017
Title Presentation and analysis of a worldwide database of earthquake-induced landslide inventories
DOI 10.1002/2017JF004236
Authors Hakan Tanyas, Cees J. van Westen, Kate E. Allstadt, M. Anna Nowicki Jessee, Tolga Gorum, Randall W. Jibson, Jonathan W. Godt, Hiroshi P. Sato, Robert G. Schmitt, Odin Marc, Niels Hovius
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Journal of Geophysical Research F: Earth Surface
Index ID 70192801
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Geologic Hazards Science Center