Earthquake-triggered mass movements in Albania

Abstract

Albania is located in the Alpine fold belt extending to the central part of the Dinarides–Hellenides arc in a zone characterized by intense tectonic-seismic activity that has a considerable influence in shaping the geo-environment of the area. Historically, strong earthquakes occurred in this region and triggered lots of mass movements causing considerable damages such as life loss, destruction of properties and disruption of the geo-environment. This paper introduces several earthquake-triggered mass movement events in Albania that occurred during 1850–2019. It was achieved through collection and analysis of data from historical studies and authors’ field investigations. The results show that soil type, slope inclination and seismic activity have a direct influence in the occurrence of these movements consistent with similar parameters occurred worldwide. Earthquake’s magnitude and degree of mass movement is well correlated. Mass movements such as lateral earth spread, rock fall, debris slides, sand boils, sand fluidization, cracks and settlement were triggered by earthquakes with a magnitude of 6.0 or higher. On the other hand, lateral rock spread needs a higher seismic magnitude to occur.

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Correspondence to Ylber Muceku.

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Muceku, Y., Koçi, R., Mustafaraj, E. et al. Earthquake-triggered mass movements in Albania. Acta Geod Geophys (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40328-021-00350-8

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Keywords

  • Mass movement
  • Earthquake
  • Lateral earth spread
  • Rockfall
  • Lateral rock spread
  • Debris slides
  • Sand boils
  • Settlement
  • Hill slope
  • Active tectonic and seismic zones
  • Soil and rock geotechnical properties