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A consistent global approach for the morphometric characterization of subaqueous landslides

March 28, 2018

Landslides are common in aquatic settings worldwide, from lakes and coastal environments to the deep sea. Fast-moving, large-volume landslides can potentially trigger destructive tsunamis. Landslides damage and disrupt global communication links and other critical marine infrastructure. Landslide deposits act as foci for localized, but important, deep-seafloor biological communities. Under burial, landslide deposits play an important role in a successful petroleum system. While the broad importance of understanding subaqueous landslide processes is evident, a number of important scientific questions have yet to receive the needed attention. Collecting quantitative data is a critical step to addressing questions surrounding subaqueous landslides.

Quantitative metrics of subaqueous landslides are routinely recorded, but which ones, and how they are defined, depends on the end-user focus. Differences in focus can inhibit communication of knowledge between communities, and complicate comparative analysis. This study outlines an approach specifically for consistent measurement of subaqueous landslide morphometrics to be used in the design of a broader, global open-source, peer-curated database. Examples from different settings illustrate how the approach can be applied, as well as the difficulties encountered when analysing different landslides and data types. Standardizing data collection for subaqueous landslides should result in more accurate geohazard predictions and resource estimation.

Publication Year 2018
Title A consistent global approach for the morphometric characterization of subaqueous landslides
DOI 10.1144/SP477.15
Authors Michael Clare, Jason Chaytor, Oliver Dabson, Davide Gamboa, Aggeliki Georgiopoulou, Harry Eady, James Hunt, Christopher Jackson, Oded Katz, Sebastian Krastel, Ricardo León, Aaron Micallef, Jasper Moernaut, Roberto Moriconi, Lorena Moscardelli, Christof Mueller, Alexandre Normandeau, Marco Patacci, Michael Steventon, Morelia Urlaub, David Volker, Lesli Wood, Zane R. Jobe
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Geological Society, London, Special Publications
Index ID 70202375
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Woods Hole Coastal and Marine Science Center