Landslides resulting from earthquakes can cause widespread loss of life and damage to critical infrastructure. The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has developed an alarm system, PAGER (Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response), that aims to provide timely information to emergency relief organizations on the impact of earthquakes. Landslides are responsible for many of the damaging effects following large earthquakes in mountainous regions, and thus data defining the topographic relief and slope are critical to the PAGER system. A new global topographic dataset was developed to aid in rapidly estimating landslide potential following large earthquakes. We used the remotely-sensed elevation data collected as part of the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) to generate a slope dataset with nearly global coverage. Slopes from the SRTM data, computed at 3-arc-second resolution, were summarized at 30-arc-second resolution, along with statistics developed to describe the distribution of slope within each 30-arc-second pixel. Because there are many small areas lacking SRTM data and the northern limit of the SRTM mission was lat 60?N., statistical methods referencing other elevation data were used to fill the voids within the dataset and to extrapolate the data north of 60?. The dataset will be used in the PAGER system to rapidly assess the susceptibility of areas to landsliding following large earthquakes.
Additional publication details
USGS Numbered Series
Development of a global slope dataset for estimation of landslide occurrence resulting from earthquakes
U.S. Geological Survey
Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center, U.S. Geological Survey