Spatio-temporal patterns of historical shallow landslides in a volcanic area, Mt. Aso, Japan

Prem P. Paudel, H. Omura, T. Kubota, T. Inoue

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15 Citations (Scopus)


The evaluation of spatially and temporally distributed records of translational shallow landslides in heterogeneous watersheds provides insights needed to understand disastrous processes. Recurrent slope instability events occurred between 1953 and 1998 in two watersheds of Mt. Aso, western Japan. This paper investigates (1) the spatio-temporal characteristics of translational shallow landslides (dimensions, numbers, densities, and area subjected to failure) observed at a particular location, (2) DEM based landform characteristics (elevation, slope angles, curvatures and their control on landslide distribution), and (3) rainfall characteristics. The evaluation of the landslide history, consequences and characteristics of spatially and temporally distributed landslides are based on the series of inventory maps for years 1954, 1977, 1990 and 1998. Geologically, the watersheds consist of pyroxene olivine andesite basalt lava, pyroclastics deposits, gravel, sand and clay deposits originated from Takadake, Nekodake, and Washigamine volcanoes. During 45 years (1953-1998), a total of 619 and 976 numbers of shallow landslides have been recognized in the Sakurakigawa and Furuegawa watersheds, respectively. Repeated sliding denuded a total surface area of 0.372 km2 in the Sakurakigawa watershed representing 35% of the watershed area. Similarly slides denuded a total of 0.534 km2 in the Furuegawa watershed representing 12% of the watershed area. For example, storm events of June 1953 and July 1990 with rainfall intensities of 49 and 61 mm h- 1, respectively triggered numerous landslides. About 25% and 47% of Sakurakigawa and Furuegawa watersheds, respectively still bears the potential to produce landslides. Landslides were commonly observed where thick unconsolidated tephra layers and pyroclastics rocks overlain by thin tephra bed existed, and for a slope inclination range of 30-35°.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-33
Number of pages13
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - Jul 15 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Earth-Surface Processes


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