An updated method for estimating landslide‐event magnitude

Earth Surface Processes and Landforms
By: , and 



Summary statistics derived from the frequency–area distribution (FAD) of inventories of triggered landslides allows for direct comparison of landslides triggered by one event (e.g. earthquake, rainstorm) with another. Such comparisons are vital to understand links between the landslide‐event and the environmental characteristics of the area affected. This could lead to methods for rapid estimation of landslide‐event magnitude, which in turn could lead to estimates of the total triggered landslide area. Previous studies proposed that the FAD of landslides follows an inverse power‐law, which provides the basis to model the size distribution of landslides and to estimate landslide‐event magnitude (mLS), which quantifies the severity of the event. In this study, we use a much larger collection of earthquake‐induced landslide (EQIL) inventories (n=45) than previous studies to show that size distributions are much more variable than previously assumed. We present an updated model and propose a method for estimating mLS and its uncertainty that better fits the observations and is more reproducible, robust, and consistent than existing methods. We validate our model by computing mLS for all of the inventories in our dataset and comparing that with the total landslide areas of the inventories. We show that our method is able to estimate the total landslide area of the events in this larger inventory dataset more successfully than the existing methods. 

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title An updated method for estimating landslide‐event magnitude
Series title Earth Surface Processes and Landforms
DOI 10.1002/esp.4359
Volume 43
Issue 9
Year Published 2018
Language English
Publisher Wiley
Contributing office(s) Geologic Hazards Science Center
Description 12 p.
First page 1836
Last page 1847
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