Masters Thesis

Characteristics of Landslides Triggered by Mw 7.8 2015 Gorkha Earthquake

The Mw 7.8 Gorkha earthquake struck central Nepal on April 25, 2015 and brought about a huge loss of life and property. The quake was also responsible for the generation of a large number of landslides. They blocked highways, devastated villages, and temporarily dammed some rivers. About 14,670 landslips were triggered off by the main shock and its numerous large aftershocks. Among the detected failures, about 23% had an area greater than 100 m2. Since such failures can directly affect people’s life and property, they are considered for further investigation in this study. A comparison of these coseismic landslides with the 29 historical failures reveals that these landslides slightly exceed in number from those expected for the peak ground acceleration observed due to these earthquakes. The landslides seem to be concentrated within the area of the fault rupture surface. About 90% of the detected landslips could be classified as earth falls. The areas having relatively soft rocks, such as slates, shales, schists and phyllites of the Lesser Himalaya, suffered from a greater number of failures. The landslides had a strong correlation with the peak ground acceleration and they also showed a positive correlation with some landslide-susceptible geological formations composing the study area.

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