, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 1235–1240 | Cite as

Relationship between landslide size and rainfall conditions in Taiwan

  • Chi-Wen Chen
  • Takashi Oguchi
  • Yuichi S. Hayakawa
  • Hitoshi Saito
  • Hongey Chen
Technical Note


This study analyzed the size of 172 rainfall-induced landslides in Taiwan during 2006–2012. Comparing the landslide size with rainfall conditions, this study found that large and deep landslides usually occurred due to long-duration and moderate-intensity rainfall (11.5–31.0 mm/h; 26.5–62.5 h), whereas small and shallow landslides occurred in a wide range of rainfall intensity and duration (8.5–31.0 mm/h; 4.0–62.5 h). This observation is ascribable to the fact that large and deep landslides need a high ground water level caused by a prolonged rainfall. Concerning the area of landslides, their frequency–area distribution correlates well with a power law relation having an exponent of −1.1 ± 0.07, over the range 6.3 × 102 to 3.1 × 106 m2. The slope of the power law relation for the size–frequency distribution of landslides in Taiwan is lower than those for other areas around the world. This indicates that for the same total area or total number of landslides, the proportion of large landslides is higher in Taiwan than in other areas.


Landslides Rainfall Intensity Duration Frequency–area Power law 



We would like to thank the Typhoon and Flood Research Institute (TTFRI) and the Soil and Water Conservation Bureau (SWCB) of Taiwan for providing rainfall data and information on landslides. We would also like to thank the Center for Space and Remote Sensing Research, National Central University, for providing satellite images. The authors acknowledge Dr. Naoto Takahata in the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, University of Tokyo, for his inspiring ideas of presenting our data.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chi-Wen Chen
    • 1
    • 2
  • Takashi Oguchi
    • 1
  • Yuichi S. Hayakawa
    • 1
  • Hitoshi Saito
    • 1
    • 3
  • Hongey Chen
    • 2
    • 4
  1. 1.Center for Spatial Information ScienceUniversity of TokyoChibaJapan
  2. 2.National Science and Technology Center for Disaster ReductionNew Taipei CityTaiwan
  3. 3.College of EconomicsKanto Gakuin UniversityYokohamaJapan
  4. 4.Department of GeosciencesNational Taiwan UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

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