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Development of a universal open access rock avalanche case study database

Mitchell A, McDougall S,. Aaron J. Brideau M A 2021. Development of a universal open access rock avalanche case study database. Proceedings of the SCG-XIII INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON LANDSLIDES. CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA- JUNE 15th-19th-2020 (held online February 2021)


Predicting the post-failure behavior of complex events such as rock avalanches often involves looking at past events to make inferences about potential future events. Many case studies of rock avalanches have been published, but a consistent methodology for describing these events has not been universally adopted. Furthermore, geohazard researchers and practitioners must go through many publications to find details on a sufficient number of events to make inferences on factors that may be controlling runout characteristics. An open access database has been developed that contains the digitized impact areas, descriptive attributes, and bibliographic references for a large number of events. This open access database has recently been used to develop new empirical relationships for travel distance and impacted area. Where available, information about the coarse rocky debris and mobilized sediments of the rock avalanche deposit are provided. The attributes within the database have been selected to be simple enough that they can be consistently assigned by different users and to maximize sample sizes, while still being able to separate out factors that have been demonstrated to influence rock avalanche mobility. The database is intended not only to make the existing spatial and descriptive information on these events available, but to allow for other researchers and practitioners to share data in a consistent format. By collaboratively building a universal, open access database of events, greater insights into the controls on rock avalanche mobility, including potential regional trends, may eventually be gained.

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