Landslide Mobility in Central America: Modelling Volcanic Debris Avalanches and Volcanic Debris Flows

K.H. Tiedemann (Canada)


Landslides, debris flows, lahars, run-out distance, mobility.


The statistical analysis of landslides from comparable geological areas can provide information which is useful for both the prediction of future landslide events and for the mitigation of hazards related to these future landslide events. In Central America, landslides in volcanic environments appear to be the more hazardous than those in non-volcanic environments. In a number of cases, volcanic landslides in Central America have killed upwards of several hundred people in a single event. The purpose of this paper is to analyze the impacts of major volcanic landslide events in Central America using statistical modelling. The key empirical relationship modelled is that between the volume of the transported material and the mobility of the landslide, where mobility refers to the tangent of the travel angle of the landslide. There are two principal types of volcanic avalanches, volcanic debris avalanches and volcanic debris flows. Separate statistical models are estimated for each of these avalanche types as well as for the total sample which combines both avalanche types.

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