One of the most significant effects of the 17 January, 1994 Northridge, California earthquake (M=6.7) was the triggering of thousands of landslides over a broad area. Some of these landslides damaged and destroyed homes and other tructures, blocked roads, disrupted pipelines, and caused other serious damage. Analysis of the distribution and characteristics of these landslides is important in understanding what areas may be susceptible to landsliding in future earthquakes. We analyzed the frequency, distribution, and geometries of triggered landslides in the Santa Susana 7.5??? quadrangle, an area of intense seismic landslide activity near the earthquake epicenter. Landslides occured primarily in young (Late Miocene through Pleistocene) uncemented or very weakly cemented sediment that has been repeatedly folded, faulted, and uplifted in the past 1.5 million years. The most common types of landslide triggered by the earthquake were highly disrupted, shallow falls and slides of rock and debris. Far less numerous were deeper, more coherent slumps and block slides, primarily occuring in more cohesive or competent materials. The landslides in the Santa Susana quadrangle were divided into two samples: single landslides (1502) and landslide complexes (60), which involved multiple coalescing failures of surficial material. We described landslide, morphologies by computing simple morphometric parameters (area, length, width, aspect ratio, slope angle). To quantify and rank the relative susceptibility of each geologic unit to seismic landsliding, we calculated two indices: (1) the susceptibility index, which is the ratio (given as a percentage) of the area covered by landslide sources within a geologic unit to the total outcrop area of that unit: and (2) the frequency index [given in landslides per square kilometer (ls/km2)], which is the total number of landslides within each geologic unit divided by the outcrop area of that unit. Susceptibility categories include very high (>2.5% landslide area or >30 1s/km2). high (1.0-2.5% landslide area or 10-30 1s/km2), moderate (0.5-1.0% landslide area or 3-10 1s/km2), and low (<0.5% landslide area and <3 1s/km2). ?? 2000 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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A seismic landslide susceptibility rating of geologic units based on analysis of characterstics of landslides triggered by the 17 January, 1994 Northridge, California earthquake