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

Research article 21 Mar 2018

Research article | 21 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 standard typology of endogenous landslide seismic sources

Floriane Provost1, Jean-Philippe Malet1, Clément Hibert1, Agnès Helmstetter2, Mathilde Radiguet2, David Amitrano2, Nadège Langet3, Eric Larose2, Clàudia Abancó4, Marcel Hürlimann5, Thomas Lebourg6, Clara Levy7, Gaëlle Le Roy2,8, Patrice Ulrich1, Maurin Vidal7, and Benjamin Vial2 Floriane Provost et al.
  • 1Institut de Physique du Globe de Strasbourg, CNRS UMR 7516, EOST/Université de Strasbourg, 5 rue Descartes, F-67084 Strasbourg Cedex, France
  • 2Univ. Grenoble Alpes, Univ. Savoie Mont Blanc, CNRS, IRD, IFSTTAR, ISTerre, 38000 Grenoble, France
  • 3Norsar, Gunnar Randers Vei 15, NO-2007 Kjeller, Norway
  • 4Geological Hazards Prevention Unit, Institut Cartografic i Geologic de Catalunya, Parc de Montjuïc, SP-08038 Barcelona, Spain
  • 5Departament of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UPC-BarcelonaTECH, C. Jordi Girona 1-3, SP-08034 Barcelona, Spain
  • 6Géosciences Azur, CNRS UMR 7329, OCA/Université de Nice, 250 rue Albert Einstein, F-06905 Sophia-Antipolis Cedex, France
  • 7BRGM, Avenue C. Guillemin, F-45100 Orléans, France
  • 8Géolithe, Crolles, France

Abstract. In the last decade, numerous studies focused on the analysis of seismic waves generated by Earth surface processes such as landslides. The installation of seismometers on unstable slopes revealed a variety of seismic signals suspected to be generated by slope deformation, weathering of the slope material or fluid circulation. A standard classification for seismic sources generated by unstable slopes needs to be proposed in order to compare the seismic activity of several unstable slopes and identify possible correlation of the seismic activity rate with triggering factors. The objective of this work is to discuss the typology and source mechanisms of seismic events detected at close distances (<1km) and generated by the deformation, failure or propagation of landslides. Seismic observations acquired at 14 sites are analyzed. The sites are representative of various landslide types (i.e. slide, fall, topple, and flow) and material (i.e. from unconsolidated soils to consolidated rocks). The seismic networks installed on these sites are roughly similar (i.e. sensor, network geometry) allowing comparison of the recorded seismic signals. Several signal properties (i.e. waveform, spectral content and spectrogram shape) are taken into account to describe the sources. We observe that similar processes generate similar signals at different sites. A typology is proposed and examples of signals recorded at the different sites are presented. The similarity of the sources and their occurrence for several site configurations make it reasonable to infer the dominant source mechanisms. The proposed typology aims to serve as a reference and a framework for further comparisons of the endogenous micro-seismicity recorded on landslides. The signals discussed in the manuscript are distributed as supplementary material.

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Short summary
Seismic sources generated by the deformation of unstable slopes are diverse in terms of signal properties and mechanisms. Standardized catalogues of landslide endogenous seismicity can help understanding the physical processes controlling slope dynamics. We propose a generic typology of seismic sources based on the analysis of signals recorded at various instrumented slopes. We demonstrate that the seismic signals are similar at different sites and discuss their mechanical sources.
Seismic sources generated by the deformation of unstable slopes are diverse in terms of signal...