A consistent global approach for morphometric characterisation of subaqueous landslides

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Michael Andrew Clare, Christopher Aiden-Lee Jackson , David Voelker, Lorena Moscardelli, Sebastian Krastel, Oliver Dabson, Aaron Micallef, Oded Katz, Marco Patacci, Ricardo Leon


Landslides are common in aquatic settings worldwide, from lakes and coastal environments to the deep-sea. Fast-moving, large volume landslides can potentially trigger destructive tsunamis. Landslides damage and disrupt global communication links and other critical marine infrastructure. Landslide deposits act as foci for localised, but important deep-seafloor biological communities. Under burial, landslide deposits play an important role in a successful petroleum system. While the broad importance of understanding subaqueous landslide processes is evident, a number of important scientific questions have yet to receive the needed attention. Collecting quantitative data is a critical step to addressing questions surrounding subaqueous landslides.
Quantitative metrics of subaqueous landslides are routinely recorded, but which ones, and how they are defined, depends on the end-user focus. Differences in focus can inhibit communication of knowledge between communities, and complicate comparative analysis. This study outlines an approach specifically for consistent measurement of subaqueous landslide morphometrics to be used in design of a broader, global open-source, peer-curated database. Examples from different settings illustrate how the approach can be applied, as well as the difficulties encountered when analysing different landslides and data types. Standardising data collection for subaqueous landslides should result in more accurate geohazard predictions and resource estimation.




Earth Sciences, Geology, Geophysics and Seismology, Life Sciences, Physical Sciences and Mathematics, Sedimentology, Stratigraphy


Natural Hazard, submarine landslide, Database, geometrics, lacustrine landslide, landslide database, morphometrics, subaqueous landslide


Published: 2018-01-12 12:07

Last Updated: 2018-04-06 11:41

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CC BY Attribution 4.0 International

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