The magnitude (M) 7.0 Haiti earthquake of January 12, 2010, triggered landslides throughout much of Haiti on the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean Sea. The epicenter of the quake was located at 18.44°N., 72.57°W. at a depth of 13 kilometers (km) approximately 25 km southwest of the capital, Port-au-Prince. Although estimates vary widely, the most reliable surveys of casualties indicate that the earthquake caused 158,679 fatalities and more than 300,000 injuries. The U.S. Geological Survey compared publicly available satellite imagery acquired both before and after the earthquake and mapped 23,567 landslides that were triggered by the strong shaking. Our mapping from aerial photography and satellite imagery was augmented by field observations.
Most of the landslides triggered by the earthquake were south of the Léogâne fault on the footwall and were fairly shallow falls and slides in weathered limestone (2–5 meters [m] thick) and volcanic rock and soil (generally <1 m thick). Landslides extended from the north to the south coasts of the southwestern peninsula (southwest of Port-au-Prince) and almost 60 km to the east and west of the epicenter. The highest concentration of landslides was on the steep limestone slopes of incised river valleys, but large numbers of landslides also occurred on gentler slopes in weathered volcanic rocks. Although some high landslide concentrations did occur near areas of maximum fault slip, the overall distribution of landslides appears to involve complex interactions between geology, topography, and strong shaking with limited spatial correlation between fault slip and landslides.
|Title||Map of landslides triggered by the January 12, 2010, Haiti earthquake|
|Authors||Edwin L. Harp, Randall W. Jibson, Robert G. Schmitt|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Scientific Investigations Map|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Geologic Hazards Science Center|