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Controls on the Magnitude-frequency Scaling of an Inventory of Secular Landslides : Volume 1, Issue 1 (01/07/2013)

By Hurst, M. D.

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Book Id: WPLBN0004007803
Format Type: PDF Article :
File Size: Pages 27
Reproduction Date: 2015

Title: Controls on the Magnitude-frequency Scaling of an Inventory of Secular Landslides : Volume 1, Issue 1 (01/07/2013)  
Author: Hurst, M. D.
Volume: Vol. 1, Issue 1
Language: English
Subject: Science, Earth, Surface
Collections: Periodicals: Journal and Magazine Collection (Contemporary), Copernicus GmbH
Publication Date:
Publisher: Copernicus Gmbh, Göttingen, Germany
Member Page: Copernicus Publications


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Lee, K. A., Ellis, M. A., Royse, K. R., Freeborough, K., & Hurst, M. D. (2013). Controls on the Magnitude-frequency Scaling of an Inventory of Secular Landslides : Volume 1, Issue 1 (01/07/2013). Retrieved from

Description: British Geological Survey, Keyworth, Nottingham, NG12 5GG, UK. Linking landslide size and frequency is important at both human and geological time-scales for quantifying both landslide hazards and the effectiveness of landslides in the removal of sediment from evolving landscapes. Landslide inventories are usually compiled following a particular triggering event such as an earthquake or storm, and their statistical behavior is typically characterized by an inflected power-law relationship. The occurrence of landslides is expected to be influenced by the material properties of rock and/or regolith in which failure occurs. Here we explore the statistical behavior and the controls of a secular landslide inventory (SLI) (i.e. events occurring over an indefinite time period) consisting of mapped landslide deposits and their underlying lithology (bedrock or superficial) across the United Kingdom. The magnitude-frequency distribution of this secular inventory exhibits an inflected power law relationship, well approximated by an inverse Gamma or double Pareto model. The scaling exponent for the power-law relationship is Α = −1.76. The small-event rollover occurs at a significantly higher magnitude than observed in single-event landslide records, which we interpret as evidence of “landscape annealing” at these relatively short length-scales, noting the corollary that a secular dataset will tend to underestimate the frequency of small landslides. This is supported by a subset of data where a complete landslide inventory was recently mapped. Large landslides also appear to be under-represented relative to model predictions, which we interpret as a non-linear or transient landscape response as the UK emerged from the last glacial maximum and through relatively volatile conditions toward a generally more stable late Holocene climate.

Controls on the magnitude-frequency scaling of an inventory of secular landslides

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