, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 433–448 | Cite as

The spatial correlation between earthquakes and landslides in Hokkaido (Japan), a GIS-based analysis of the past and the future

  • Lulseged Ayalew
  • Minoru Kasahara
  • Hiromitsu Yamagishi
Original Paper


Although earthquakes are thought to be one of the factors responsible for the occurrence of landslides in Hokkaido, there exist no enough records which can allow correlating many of the old slope failures in the island with earthquakes. In the absence of these records, an attempt was done in this study to use the abundance, frequency, magnitude, depth, and distribution of historical earthquakes to deduce that many of the slope failures in the region were triggered by strong and continuous seismicity. The determination of the zones of influences of selected earthquakes using an existing empirical function has also supported this conclusion. Moreover, the use of a 10% probability of exceedance of earthquake intensity in 50 years, and the geological and slope maps has allowed preparing a landslide hazard map which explains the role of future earthquakes in the formation of slope failures. The result indicates a high probability of occurrences of landslides in the hilly regions of the southeastern part of Hokkaido due to expected strong seismicity and earthquake intensities in these areas. On the other hand, the low level of intensity in the north has given rise to low probability of landslide hazard. There are also places in the center of the island and high intensity regions in the east where the probability of landslide hazard was influenced by the contribution of the geological and slope maps.


Earthquakes Landslides Hokkaido GIS PGA PGV 



Great thanks should go to the Japan Geological Survey (JGS), Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), and the National Research Institute for Earth Science and Disaster Prevention (NIED) for permitting to download geological maps, earthquake data, probabilistic intensity maps, and PGA records freely from their respective homepages. Thanks are also due to Dr. Kauze Wakamatsu for discussing the issue of amplification at the beginning of this study. Moreover, we want to express our gratitude to the anonymous reviewers for their critical comments and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lulseged Ayalew
    • 1
  • Minoru Kasahara
    • 2
  • Hiromitsu Yamagishi
    • 3
  1. 1.Technical Information SystemsUniversity of HamburgHamburgGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Seismology and VolcanologyHokkaido UniversitySapporoJapan
  3. 3.Center for Disaster Management Informatics ResearchEhime UniversityMatsuyamaJapan

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