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Durham e-Theses
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The analysis of the spatial patterns and controls governing the global occurrence of fatal landslides

Oven, Katie Jane (2005) The analysis of the spatial patterns and controls governing the global occurrence of fatal landslides. Masters thesis, Durham University.



In the research presented here, a global inventory of fatal landslides has been generated allowing the investigation of the spatial distribution and temporal occurrence of mass movement events. There are important regional differences within these data with Asian fatalities being characterised by high frequency, low magnitude landslide events. In comparison, high magnitude events were found to be responsible for the high fatality totals in the Americas. This research has demonstrated that the spatial distribution of fatal landslides is best explained by a combination of physical and social factors and has yielded some interesting results.87% of the fatal landslide events recorded within the database were triggered by high intensity of prolonged rainfall events associated with tropical cyclones or monsoon rainfall that are compounded in areas of high relief associated with tectonically active mountain belts. Increasing landslide impacts are often associated with less developed countries, where there is rising population density, rural to urban migration, growth of megacities, and severe land degradation. However, the results indicate that the occurrence of landslide fatalities are not simply a function of level of development of a country or population density but that fatalities predominantly occur within middle income countries and rural areas which are increasingly vulnerable to landslide disasters. This can be attributed to changes in physical systems, most notably climate variation.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:2005
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Sep 2011 09:53

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