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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2018-49
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
Research article
01 Mar 2018
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript was accepted for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS).
Global fatal landslide occurrence 2004 to 2016
Melanie J. Froude and David N. Petley Department of Geography, The University of Sheffield, Sheffield, S10 2TN, United Kingdom
Abstract. Landslides are a ubiquitous hazard in terrestrial environments with slopes, incurring human fatalities in urban settlements, along transport corridors, or at sites of rural industry. Assessment of landslide risk requires high quality landslide databases. Recently, global landslide databases have shown the extent to which landslides impact on society and identified areas most at risk. Previous global analysis has focused on rainfall-triggered landslides over short ~ 5 year observation periods. This paper presents spatio-temporal analysis of a global dataset of fatal non-seismic landslides, covering the period from January 2004 to December 2016. The data show that in total ~ 56 000 people were killed in 4862 distinct landslide events. The spatial distribution of landslides is heterogeneous, with Asia representing the dominant geographical area. There are high levels of inter-annual variation in the occurrence of landslides. Although more active years coincide with recognised patterns of regional rainfall driven by climate anomalies, climate modes (such as ENSO) cannot yet be related to landsliding, requiring a 30+ year landslide dataset. Our analysis demonstrates landslide occurrence triggered by human activity is increasing, in particular in relation to construction, illegal mining and hill-cutting. This supports notions that human disturbance may be more detrimental to future landslide incidence than climate.
Citation: Froude, M. J. and Petley, D. N.: Global fatal landslide occurrence 2004 to 2016, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2018-49, in review, 2018.
Melanie J. Froude and David N. Petley
Melanie J. Froude and David N. Petley
Melanie J. Froude and David N. Petley

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Short summary
Landslides are a hazard in terrestrial environments with slopes. This paper presents global analysis on patterns of fatal landsliding between 2004 and 2016, using a database collated from media reporting. The data show ~ 56 000 people were killed in 4862 landslide events. Active landslide years coincide with patterns of regional rainfall: most landslides were rainfall triggered. For the first time, analysis shows the number of landslides triggered by human activity increased with time.
Landslides are a hazard in terrestrial environments with slopes. This paper presents global...
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