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Multiple-occurrence regional landslide events in New Zealand: Hazard management issues

Abstract

Landsliding in New Zealand most commonly occurs in the form of multiple-occurrence landslide events, simultaneously involving thousands to ten thousands of landslides over areas extending up to 20,000 km2. The scale of these events, together with their multiple-hazard character, provide a unique set of management issues that stretch the capabilities of available emergency management services. Several measures for characterising the magnitude and impact potential of these events are presented and compared. While the median density of landsliding is approximately 30 landslides/km2, over 100 landslides/km2 have been recorded in some events. Specific soil displacement volumes vary widely between events—New Zealand events yield a median value of approximately 140 m3/ha. Measured Ratios of runout length to scar length are commonly about 3:1. However, comparison between events is constrained by lack of standardisation in methods of measurement and recording. Agricultural production loss, damage to road and rail infrastructure and increased flooding are the main consequences of these events. Treatment options involve loss sharing, resource management legislation, and various forms of bio-engineering.

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Correspondence to M. J. Crozier.

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Crozier, M.J. Multiple-occurrence regional landslide events in New Zealand: Hazard management issues. Landslides 2, 247–256 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10346-005-0019-7

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Keywords

  • Multiple-occurrence landslide events
  • Damage ratios
  • Consequences
  • Treatment options