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Discussion papers | Copyright
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 27 Mar 2018

Research article | 27 Mar 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Earth Surface Dynamics (ESurf).

Towards a global database of rainfall-induced landslide inventories: first insights from past and new events

Odin Marc1, André Stumpf1, Jean-Philippe Malet1, Marielle Gosset2, Taro Uchida3, and Shou-Hao Chiang4 Odin Marc et al.
  • 1École et Observatoire des Sciences de la Terre − Institut de Physique du Globe de Strasbourg, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique UMR 7516, University of Strasbourg, 67084 Strasbourg CEDEX, France
  • 2Géoscience Environnement Toulouse, Toulouse, France
  • 3National Institute for Land and Infrastructure Management, Research Center for Disaster Risk Management, Tsukuba, Japan
  • 4Center for Space and Remote Sensing Research, National Central University, Taoyuan City 32001, Taiwan

Abstract. Rainfall-induced landslides are a common and significant source of damage and fatality worldwide. Still, we have very little understanding of the quantity and properties of landsliding that can be expected for a given storm and a given landscape, mostly because we have very few datasets of rainfall-induced landslides. Here we present six new comprehensive landslide inventories associated to well identified rainfall events. Combining these datasets, with two previously published datasets, we study their statistical properties and their relations to topographic slope distribution and storm properties. Landslide metrics (such as total landsliding, peak landslide density or landslide distribution area) vary across 2 to 3 order of magnitudes but strongly correlate with the storm total rainfall, varying over almost 2 orders of magnitude for these events. Correlation increases when we apply a normalization on the landslide runout distances. The non-linear scaling with total rainfall should be further constrained with additional cases and incorporation of landscape properties such as regolith depth, typical strength or permeability estimates. We also observe that, for storm with longer duration, landslides do not occur preferentially on the steepest slopes of the landscape, contrarily to observations from earthquake-induced landslides, suggesting preferential failures of larger drainage area patches with intermediate slopes. The database could be used for further comparison with spatially resolved rainfall estimates and with empirical or mechanistic landslide event modeling.

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Publications Copernicus
Short summary
Rainfall-induced landslides cause significant damage and fatality worldwide, but we have few datasets constraining the impact of individual storms. We present and analyze 8 landslide inventories, with > 150 to > 15,000 landslides, representing comprehensively the landslide population caused by 8 storms from Asia and the Americas. We found that the total storm rainfall is a major control on total landsliding, and that long storms seem to trigger landslides on less steep slopes than longer storms.
Rainfall-induced landslides cause significant damage and fatality worldwide, but we have few...