Complex rupture mechanism and topography control symmetry of mass - wasting pattern, 2010 Haiti earthquake

T. Gorum, C.J. van Westen, Oliver Korup, M. van der Meijde, Xuanmei Fan, F.D. van der Meer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The 12 January 2010 Mw 7.0 Haiti earthquake occurred in a complex deformation zone at the boundary between the North American and Caribbean plates. Combined geodetic, geological and seismological data posited that surface deformation was driven by rupture on the Léogâne blind thrust fault, while part of the rupture occurred as deep lateral slip on the Enriquillo–Plantain Garden Fault (EPGF). The earthquake triggered > 4490 landslides, mainly shallow, disrupted rock falls, debris-soil falls and slides, and a few lateral spreads, over an area of ~ 2150 km2. The regional distribution of these slope failures defies those of most similar earthquake-triggered landslide episodes reported previously. Most of the coseismic landslides did not proliferate in the hanging wall of the main rupture, but clustered instead at the junction of the blind Léogâne and EPGF ruptures, where topographic relief and hillslope steepness are above average. Also, low-relief areas subjected to high coseismic uplift were prone to lesser hanging wall slope instability than previous studies would suggest. We argue that a combined effect of complex rupture dynamics and topography primarily control this previously rarely documented landslide pattern. Compared to recent thrust fault-earthquakes of similar magnitudes elsewhere, we conclude that lower static stress drop, mean fault displacement, and blind ruptures of the 2010 Haiti earthquake resulted in fewer, smaller, and more symmetrically distributed landslides than previous studies would suggest. Our findings caution against overly relying on across-the-board models of slope stability response to seismic ground shaking.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-138
Number of pages12
JournalGeomorphology
Volume184
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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Haiti earthquake 2010
mass wasting
symmetry
rupture
topography
landslide
earthquake
hanging wall
thrust fault
garden
relief
Caribbean plate
North American plate
fault displacement
slope failure
slope stability
hillslope
uplift

Keywords

  • METIS-293985
  • IR-90293
  • ITC-ISI-JOURNAL-ARTICLE

Cite this

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title = "Complex rupture mechanism and topography control symmetry of mass - wasting pattern, 2010 Haiti earthquake",
abstract = "The 12 January 2010 Mw 7.0 Haiti earthquake occurred in a complex deformation zone at the boundary between the North American and Caribbean plates. Combined geodetic, geological and seismological data posited that surface deformation was driven by rupture on the L{\'e}og{\^a}ne blind thrust fault, while part of the rupture occurred as deep lateral slip on the Enriquillo–Plantain Garden Fault (EPGF). The earthquake triggered > 4490 landslides, mainly shallow, disrupted rock falls, debris-soil falls and slides, and a few lateral spreads, over an area of ~ 2150 km2. The regional distribution of these slope failures defies those of most similar earthquake-triggered landslide episodes reported previously. Most of the coseismic landslides did not proliferate in the hanging wall of the main rupture, but clustered instead at the junction of the blind L{\'e}og{\^a}ne and EPGF ruptures, where topographic relief and hillslope steepness are above average. Also, low-relief areas subjected to high coseismic uplift were prone to lesser hanging wall slope instability than previous studies would suggest. We argue that a combined effect of complex rupture dynamics and topography primarily control this previously rarely documented landslide pattern. Compared to recent thrust fault-earthquakes of similar magnitudes elsewhere, we conclude that lower static stress drop, mean fault displacement, and blind ruptures of the 2010 Haiti earthquake resulted in fewer, smaller, and more symmetrically distributed landslides than previous studies would suggest. Our findings caution against overly relying on across-the-board models of slope stability response to seismic ground shaking.",
keywords = "METIS-293985, IR-90293, ITC-ISI-JOURNAL-ARTICLE",
author = "T. Gorum and {van Westen}, C.J. and Oliver Korup and {van der Meijde}, M. and Xuanmei Fan and {van der Meer}, F.D.",
year = "2013",
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Complex rupture mechanism and topography control symmetry of mass - wasting pattern, 2010 Haiti earthquake. / Gorum, T.; van Westen, C.J.; Korup, Oliver; van der Meijde, M.; Fan, Xuanmei; van der Meer, F.D.

In: Geomorphology, Vol. 184, 2013, p. 127-138.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Complex rupture mechanism and topography control symmetry of mass - wasting pattern, 2010 Haiti earthquake

AU - Gorum, T.

AU - van Westen, C.J.

AU - Korup, Oliver

AU - van der Meijde, M.

AU - Fan, Xuanmei

AU - van der Meer, F.D.

PY - 2013

Y1 - 2013

N2 - The 12 January 2010 Mw 7.0 Haiti earthquake occurred in a complex deformation zone at the boundary between the North American and Caribbean plates. Combined geodetic, geological and seismological data posited that surface deformation was driven by rupture on the Léogâne blind thrust fault, while part of the rupture occurred as deep lateral slip on the Enriquillo–Plantain Garden Fault (EPGF). The earthquake triggered > 4490 landslides, mainly shallow, disrupted rock falls, debris-soil falls and slides, and a few lateral spreads, over an area of ~ 2150 km2. The regional distribution of these slope failures defies those of most similar earthquake-triggered landslide episodes reported previously. Most of the coseismic landslides did not proliferate in the hanging wall of the main rupture, but clustered instead at the junction of the blind Léogâne and EPGF ruptures, where topographic relief and hillslope steepness are above average. Also, low-relief areas subjected to high coseismic uplift were prone to lesser hanging wall slope instability than previous studies would suggest. We argue that a combined effect of complex rupture dynamics and topography primarily control this previously rarely documented landslide pattern. Compared to recent thrust fault-earthquakes of similar magnitudes elsewhere, we conclude that lower static stress drop, mean fault displacement, and blind ruptures of the 2010 Haiti earthquake resulted in fewer, smaller, and more symmetrically distributed landslides than previous studies would suggest. Our findings caution against overly relying on across-the-board models of slope stability response to seismic ground shaking.

AB - The 12 January 2010 Mw 7.0 Haiti earthquake occurred in a complex deformation zone at the boundary between the North American and Caribbean plates. Combined geodetic, geological and seismological data posited that surface deformation was driven by rupture on the Léogâne blind thrust fault, while part of the rupture occurred as deep lateral slip on the Enriquillo–Plantain Garden Fault (EPGF). The earthquake triggered > 4490 landslides, mainly shallow, disrupted rock falls, debris-soil falls and slides, and a few lateral spreads, over an area of ~ 2150 km2. The regional distribution of these slope failures defies those of most similar earthquake-triggered landslide episodes reported previously. Most of the coseismic landslides did not proliferate in the hanging wall of the main rupture, but clustered instead at the junction of the blind Léogâne and EPGF ruptures, where topographic relief and hillslope steepness are above average. Also, low-relief areas subjected to high coseismic uplift were prone to lesser hanging wall slope instability than previous studies would suggest. We argue that a combined effect of complex rupture dynamics and topography primarily control this previously rarely documented landslide pattern. Compared to recent thrust fault-earthquakes of similar magnitudes elsewhere, we conclude that lower static stress drop, mean fault displacement, and blind ruptures of the 2010 Haiti earthquake resulted in fewer, smaller, and more symmetrically distributed landslides than previous studies would suggest. Our findings caution against overly relying on across-the-board models of slope stability response to seismic ground shaking.

KW - METIS-293985

KW - IR-90293

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DO - 10.1016/j.geomorph.2012.11.027

M3 - Article

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JO - Geomorphology

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SN - 0169-555X

ER -