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Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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Volume 5, issue 6 | Copyright

Special issue: Tsunami hazard from slope instability

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 5, 877-892, 2005
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-5-877-2005
© Author(s) 2005. This work is licensed under
the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 License.

  09 Nov 2005

09 Nov 2005

Undersea landslides: extent and significance in the Pacific Ocean, an update

H. J. Lee H. J. Lee
  • US Geological Survey, 345 Middlefield Road, Menlo Park, CA, 94025, USA

Abstract. Submarine landslides are known to occur disproportionately in a limited number of environments including fjords, deltas, canyons, volcanic islands and the open continental slope. An evaluation of the progress that has been made in understanding Pacific Ocean submarine landslides over the last 15years shows that mapping technologies have improved greatly, allowing a better interpretation of landslide features. Some features previously identified as landslides are being reinterpreted by some as sediment waves. Previously underappreciated environments for landslides such as deep-sea trenches are being recognized and lava deltas are being found to be landslide prone. Landslides are also being recognized much more commonly as a potential source of tsunamis. Landslides that have produced tsunamis in the past are being mapped and in some cases modeled. The flow characteristics of turbidity currents produced by landslides in canyon heads have recently been monitored and the source of these failures has been identified using repeated multibeam mapping. Finally, some landslide deposits are being dated as part of assessing risk to coastal cities from landslide-tsunamis.

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