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Landslides

, Volume 15, Issue 5, pp 953–965 | Cite as

Topographic and geologic controls on landslides induced by the 2015 Gorkha earthquake and its aftershocks: an example from the Trishuli Valley, central Nepal

  • Ching-Ying Tsou
  • Masahiro Chigira
  • Daisuke Higaki
  • Go Sato
  • Hiroshi Yagi
  • Hiroshi P. Sato
  • Akihiko Wakai
  • Vishnu Dangol
  • Shanmukhesh C. Amatya
  • Akiyo Yatagai
Original Paper

Abstract

The devastating Gorkha earthquake (M w 7.8) on April 25, 2015 and its aftershocks triggered numerous landslides across the Lesser and Higher Himalayas of central Nepal. This study aims to characterize these landslides, based on the local topography and geology, and to develop data for landslide hazard zoning. This study focused on a mountainous catchment of the Trishuli River, where a digital elevation model was used to examine hilllslope and river profiles, aerial photos were used to identify 155 coherent landslides, and satellite images were used to map 912 earthquake-induced landslides. The topography of this area is mainly characterized by incised V-shaped inner gorges and steep (> 35°) SW-facing scarp slopes. Although most of the coherent landslides were not reactivated by the earthquakes, the Gogane landslide was affected by the earthquake and partly failed. A majority of the earthquake-induced landslides (91%) were new landslides, while the others were enlarged old landslides. The earthquake-induced landslides occurred mainly on the steep slopes of V-shaped inner gorges and scarp slopes, in gneiss and quartzite strata of the Lesser Himalayas, and they were primarily associated with fractured rock masses. This analysis provides a framework for zoning areas vulnerable to earthquake-induced landslides.

Keywords

Earthquake Landslide Inner gorge Scarp slope Nepal 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This study was funded by the Japan–Nepal Urgent Collaborative Projects regarding the April 2015 Nepal earthquake within the J-RAPID Program of the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST-PROJECT-15657342), JSPS KAKENHI (Grant Numbers 16H03149, 17H02973) and the Collaborative Center Research 28-1 of the Disaster Prevention Research Institute of Kyoto University. The authors thank Google Earth for processing and openly providing high-resolution imagery of the study area. The research team of the Environment Planning on Mountainous Area Laboratory of the Hirosaki University for Satellite Data Utilization Project (SDUP), initiated by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism (MLIT) of Japan, provided useful information for landslide mapping. We acknowledge the Department of Water Induced Disaster Management (DWIDM) of Nepal, the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), and Beyond Base Camp Treks & Expeditions for kindly providing logistical support during field work. We are also indebted to Mr. Samjwal Bajracharya and Mr. Pradeep Kumar Mool of ICIMOD, Dr. Masao Yamada of Information Conservation Engineers, and Dr. Kazunori Hayashi of Okuyama Boring for the useful discussions.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ching-Ying Tsou
    • 1
  • Masahiro Chigira
    • 2
  • Daisuke Higaki
    • 1
  • Go Sato
    • 3
  • Hiroshi Yagi
    • 4
  • Hiroshi P. Sato
    • 5
  • Akihiko Wakai
    • 6
  • Vishnu Dangol
    • 7
  • Shanmukhesh C. Amatya
    • 8
  • Akiyo Yatagai
    • 9
  1. 1.Department of Agricultural and Environmental Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture and Life ScienceHirosaki UniversityAomoriJapan
  2. 2.Disaster Prevention Research InstituteKyoto UniversityUjiJapan
  3. 3.Graduate school of Environmental InformationTeikyo Heisei UniversityTokyoJapan
  4. 4.Faculty of Education, Art and ScienceYamagata UniversityYamagataJapan
  5. 5.Department of Geography, College of Humanities and SciencesNihon UniversityTokyoJapan
  6. 6.Department of Civil EngineeringGunma UniversityMaebashiJapan
  7. 7.Department of Geology, Tri-Chandra CampusTribhuvan UniversityKathmanduNepal
  8. 8.Department of Water Induced Disaster ManagementLalitpurNepal
  9. 9.Global Environment and Disaster Prevention Sciences FacultyHirosaki UniversityAomoriJapan

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