Modelling Mobility in Submarine Landslides

Kenneth H. Tiedemann


Landslides, Marine landslides, Runout distance, Landslide mobility


In the study of landslides, run-out distance is defined as the horizontal distance between the initial centre of mass of the sliding material and the centre of mass of the sliding material subsequent to the landslide, while area refers to the area affected by the landslide. The substantial literature on marine landslides largely uses numerical simulations and there are relatively few studies quantitatively examining the determinants of run-out and the determinants of area of marine landslides from a statistical perspective. Statistical analysis of marine landslides using data from comparable geological areas can provide information which is useful for both the prediction of future marine landslide events and for the mitigation of hazards related to these future landslide events. This paper attempts to help this gap for marine landslides and makes two main contributions. First, this analysis models mobility for marine landslides in the Gulf of California and the Gulf of Mexico with a view to determining whether they are significantly different geological phenomena. Second, this study examines whether the type of marine landslide (cohesive or not) is a statistically significant determinant of landslide run-out and area.

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