Earthquake-reactivated landslide scenarios in Southern Italy based on spectral-matching input analysis

F. Bozzano, C. Esposito, G. Martini, S. Martino, A. Prestininzi, D. Rinaldis, R.W. Romeo, G. Scarascia Mugnozza

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The Tyrrhenian portion of the Calabria region (southern Italy) is particularly prone to landslides as a consequence of intense morphodynamic processes. These processes affect the slopes that are composed of highly jointed metamorphic rock masses. Moreover, the frequent intense rainfalls and the up to Mw 7.0 regional earthquakes represent the main landslide triggering factors. An area of approximately 45km2was selected as a test site in the context of a regional project aimed at reconstructing possible earthquake-reactivated landslide scenarios (i.e., referred to already existing landslide masses). An inventory map led to the identification of 175 landslides, including rock slides, earth slides and rock falls. Ground-motion scenarios based on a spectral-matching method were derived to evaluate the expected earthquake-induced displacements of the existing landslides. Naturally recorded acceleration time histories were selected from international ground-motion databases based on a similarity index and considered representative of the seismological features of the considered seismic sources (i.e., epicentral distance, magnitude, focal mechanism). Spectral attenuation was considered, according to well-established attenuation laws, to define the expected response spectrum at the outcropping bedrock corresponding to each existing landslide. Subsequently, the selected natural records were modified to guarantee spectral matching with the attenuated response spectra at each landslide site. The derived time histories were used to compute co-seismic displacements via the classic Newmark's sliding-block method. Different scenarios of co-seismic landslide displacements or collapse were generated for different pore-water pressure hypotheses. The strongest Mw > 6 seismic scenario (Messina Straits seismogenic source) indicated an exceedance probability of earthquake-induced co-seismic landslide collapse varying from 20 to 55 % with the increasing severity of the pore-water pressures. This probability corresponds to a percentage of co-seismic landslide displacements up to 40 % of the total inventoried landslides. The exceedance probability indicated that co-seismic landslide collapse drops below 20 % for Mw < 6 seismic scenarios. In contrast, if a uniform probability is assumed for the seismic action occurrence, i.e., return periods of 475 and 2,475 years, the total percentage of landslide co-seismic displacements could be as high as 70 and 90 %, respectively, for the considered pore-water pressures. © 2013 The Author(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1927 - 1948
Number of pages22
JournalBulletin of Earthquake Engineering
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2013
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geophysics

Cite this

Bozzano, F., Esposito, C., Martini, G., Martino, S., Prestininzi, A., Rinaldis, D., Romeo, R. W., & Scarascia Mugnozza, G. (2013). Earthquake-reactivated landslide scenarios in Southern Italy based on spectral-matching input analysis. Bulletin of Earthquake Engineering, 11(6), 1927 - 1948.