, Volume 11, Issue 2, pp 167–194

The Varnes classification of landslide types, an update

Review Article

DOI: 10.1007/s10346-013-0436-y

Cite this article as:
Hungr, O., Leroueil, S. & Picarelli, L. Landslides (2014) 11: 167. doi:10.1007/s10346-013-0436-y


The goal of this article is to revise several aspects of the well-known classification of landslides, developed by Varnes (1978). The primary recommendation is to modify the definition of landslide-forming materials, to provide compatibility with accepted geotechnical and geological terminology of rocks and soils. Other, less important modifications of the classification system are suggested, resulting from recent developments of the landslide science. The modified Varnes classification of landslides has 32 landslide types, each of which is backed by a formal definition. The definitions should facilitate backward compatibility of the system as well as possible translation to other languages. Complex landslides are not included as a separate category type, but composite types can be constructed by the user of the classification by combining two or more type names, if advantageous.


Classification of landslidesTypologyMaterialsMechanismsEngineering geologyGeotechnical engineering

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Oldrich Hungr
    • 1
  • Serge Leroueil
    • 2
  • Luciano Picarelli
    • 3
  1. 1.University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada
  2. 2.Université LavalQuébecCanada
  3. 3.Seconda Università di NapoliCasertaItaly