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Coseismic landslides reveal near-surface rock strength in a high-relief, tectonically active setting

Sean F. Gallen, Marin K. Clark and Jonathan W. Godt
Coseismic landslides reveal near-surface rock strength in a high-relief, tectonically active setting
Geology (Boulder) (November 2014) 43 (1): 70-70

Abstract

We present quantitative estimates of near-surface rock strength relevant to landscape evolution and landslide hazard assessment for 15 geologic map units of the Longmen Shan, China. Strength estimates are derived from a novel method that inverts earthquake peak ground acceleration models and coseismic landslide inventories to obtain material properties and landslide thickness. Aggregate rock strength is determined by prescribing a friction angle of 30 degrees and solving for effective cohesion. Effective cohesion ranges are from 70 kPa to 107 kPa for 15 geologic map units, and are approximately an order of magnitude less than typical laboratory measurements, probably because laboratory tests on hand-sized specimens do not incorporate the effects of heterogeneity and fracturing that likely control near-surface strength at the hillslope scale. We find that strength among the geologic map units studied varies by less than a factor of two. However, increased weakening of units with proximity to the range front, where precipitation and active fault density are the greatest, suggests that climatic and tectonic factors overwhelm lithologic differences in rock strength in this high-relief tectonically active setting.


ISSN: 0091-7613
EISSN: 1943-2682
Coden: GLGYBA
Serial Title: Geology (Boulder)
Serial Volume: 43
Serial Issue: 1
Title: Coseismic landslides reveal near-surface rock strength in a high-relief, tectonically active setting
Affiliation: University of Michigan, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Ann Arbor, MI, United States
Pages: 70-70
Published: 20141114
Text Language: English
Publisher: Geological Society of America (GSA), Boulder, CO, United States
References: 31
Accession Number: 2014-102423
Categories: Engineering geologyEnvironmental geology
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. geol. sketch maps
N26°00'00" - N34°10'00", E97°30'00" - E108°25'00"
Secondary Affiliation: U. S. Geological Survey, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States. Reference includes data supplied by the Geological Society of America, Boulder, CO, United States
Update Code: 201451
Program Name: USGSOPNon-USGS publications with USGS authors
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