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Characterization and comparison of landslide triggering in different tectonic and climatic settings

Abstract : The spatial and temporal distributions of landslides in six catalogues are analyzed in order to better understand landslide triggering mechanisms. The six landslide catalogs are New Zealand, Yosemite (California), Grenoble (French Alps), Val d'Arly (French Alps), Australia, and Wollongong (New South Wales, Australia). Landslides are clustered in time for all catalogs. For New Zealand, Yosemite, Australia, and Wollongong, the frequency of landslides varies between 1 and 1000 events per day and is well fitted by a power law: there is no characteristic scale for daily rates. When the large rates of daily landslides are known to be rain or earthquake triggered, our results suggest the same triggering may hold for the small daily rates. Earthquakes are found to trigger landslides for the New Zealand, Yosemite, and Australia areas at distances as large as 20 times their fault lengths. There is no evidence of landslides triggered by earthquakes for the three other catalogs. Small M ≤ 4 earthquakes have little influence on landslide triggering, if any, for all catalogs. For New Zealand, Yosemite, Val d'Arly, Australia, and Wollongong, the number of landslides per month is significantly correlated with monthly rainfall. A correlation with temperature is found only for Grenoble and New Zealand. Landslide triggering (strong clustering in time and space) is more important in New Zealand than in Grenoble, probably because the forcing (seismicity and climate) is stronger in New Zealand than in the French Alps but possibly also because of a high sensitivity to landslides in New Zealand. We suggest that intensity of clustering in space and time can be used to assess the importance of landslide triggering and the processes responsible for triggering.
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https://hal-insu.archives-ouvertes.fr/insu-00565218
Contributor : Pascale Talour <>
Submitted on : Friday, February 11, 2011 - 11:41:33 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, October 14, 2020 - 4:04:38 AM

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L. Tatard, J. R. Grasso, A. Helmstetter, S. Garambois. Characterization and comparison of landslide triggering in different tectonic and climatic settings. Journal of Geophysical Research, American Geophysical Union, 2010, 115, pp.F04040. ⟨10.1029/2009JF001624⟩. ⟨insu-00565218⟩

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