The 1994 Northridge, California, earthquake is the first earthquake for which we have all of the data sets needed to conduct a rigorous regional analysis of seismic slope instability. These data sets include (1) a comprehensive inventory of triggered landslides, (2) about 200 strong-motion records of the mainshock, (3) 1:24,000-scale geologic mapping of the region, (4) extensive data on engineering properties of geologic units, and (5) high-resolution digital elevation models of the topography. All of these data sets have been digitized and rasterized at 10-m grid spacing in the ARC/INFO GIS platform. Combining these data sets in a dynamic model based on Newmark's permanent-deformation (sliding-block) analysis yields estimates of coseismic landslide displacement in each grid cell from the Northridge earthquake. The modeled displacements are then compared with the digital inventory of landslides triggered by the Northridge earthquake to construct a probability curve relating predicted displacement to probability of failure. This probability function can be applied to predict and map the spatial variability in failure probability in any ground-shaking conditions of interest. We anticipate that this mapping procedure will be used to construct seismic landslide hazard maps that will assist in emergency preparedness planning and in making rational decisions regarding development and construction in areas susceptible to seismic slope failure.
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USGS Numbered Series
A method for producing digital probabilistic seismic landslide hazard maps; an example from the Los Angeles, California, area
U.S. Dept. of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey,