Understanding fatal landslides at global scales: a summary of topographic, climatic, and anthropogenic perspectives

Seçkin Fidan*, Hakan Tanyaş, Abdullah Akbaş, Luigi Lombardo, David N. Petley, Tolga Görüm

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Landslides are a common global geohazard that lead to substantial loss of life and socio-economic damage. Landslides are becoming more common due to extreme weather events and the impacts of anthropogenic disturbance, and thus, they are threatening sustainable development in many vulnerable areas. Previous studies on fatal landslides have focused on inventory development; spatial and temporal distributions; the role of precipitation or seismic forcing; and human impacts. However, climatologic, topographic, and anthropogenic variables featuring fatal landslides at a global scale have been mostly neglected. Here, using the global fatal landslide database, we evaluate the characteristics of landslides induced by natural and anthropogenic factors with respect to topographic, climatic, and anthropogenic factors, drawing attention to their persistent spatial patterns. The majority of natural (69.3%) and anthropogenic (44.1%) landslides occur in mountainous areas in tropical and temperate regions, which are also characterized by the highest casualty rates per group, 66.7% and 43.0%, respectively. However, they significantly differ in terms of their morphometric footprint. Fatal landslides triggered by natural variables occur mostly in the highest portions of the topographic profile, where human disturbance is minimal. As for their anthropogenic counterpart, these failures cluster at much lower altitudes, where slopes are gentler, but human intervention is higher due to a higher population density. This observation points towards land cover changes being a critical factor in landscape dynamics, stressing the human pressure as a discriminant cause/effect term for natural vs. human-induced landslide fatalities.

Orijinal dilİngilizce
Sayfa (başlangıç-bitiş)6437-6455
Sayfa sayısı19
DergiNatural Hazards
Basın numarası7
Yayın durumuYayınlandı - May 2024

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Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.


Seçkin Fidan is grateful to the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK), International Research Fellowship Programme for Doctoral Students (BİDEB 2214-A). Seçkin Fidan would like to express his sincere thanks to the Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC), Department of Applied Earth Sciences (AES), for hosting him as a visiting PhD student. The authors thank Abdüssamet Yılmaz for his support during the analysis process. Open access funding provided by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Türkiye (TÜBİTAK). This work was supported by the Istanbul Technical University (ITU) Scientific Research Projects Coordination Unit (Project No: MDK-2021-43288 for Ph.D. Thesis).

FinansörlerFinansör numarası
Türkiye Bilimsel ve Teknolojik Araştırma Kurumu
Istanbul Teknik ÜniversitesiMDK-2021-43288

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