A Caltech Library Service

Influence of the scar geometry on landslide dynamics and deposits: Application to Martian landslides

Lucas, Antoine and Mangeney, Anne and Mège, Daniel and Bouchut, François (2011) Influence of the scar geometry on landslide dynamics and deposits: Application to Martian landslides. Journal of Geophysical Research E, 116 . E10001. ISSN 0148-0227.

PDF - Published Version
See Usage Policy.


Use this Persistent URL to link to this item:


Landslides dynamics prediction remains difficult in spite of a considerable number of studies. The runout distance is widely used in analysis of landslide dynamics and in the calibration of the rheological parameters involved in numerical modeling. However, the unknown impact of the significant uncertainty in the shape of the initial released mass on the runout distance and on the overall shape of the deposit raises questions about the relevance of these approaches. The impact of the initial scar geometry on flow and distribution of the deposits is studied here using satellite data and numerical modeling of theoretical landslides, and Martian landslides informed by geomorphological analysis, by varying the initial scar geometry from spoon-shaped to steep wall geometry. Our results show that the runout distance is a very robust parameter that is only slightly affected by the change in the geometry of the initial scar. On the contrary, the lateral extent of the deposit is shown to be controlled by the scar geometry, providing unique insights into the initial landsliding conditions on Mars and makes it possible to accurately recover the volume initially involved, an essential ingredient for volume balance calculation. A feedback analysis of Valles Marineris landslides can be drawn, showing good agreement between numerical results and geomorphological analysis; the geometry of the initial scar inferred from numerical modeling is strongly correlated with the regional tectonic history in Valles Marineris area.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription
Additional Information:© 2011 American Geophysical Union. Received 24 January 2011; accepted 30 June 2011; published 4 October 2011. The authors would like to thank P. Stoclet for his work on the parallelization of the model, which resulted in a substantial enhancement of grid resolution and time gain, and the Planetary Data Server for the availability of the Martian data online,G. Neumann and C. H. Acton for helpful support in using MOLA and kernel data, and finally Randolph Kirk and Trent Hare from Astrogeology Branch Team of the USGS for very helpful technical support in ISIS use. This work benefitted from fruitful discussions with O. Hungr and J‐.P. Peulvast as well as previous review of K. Harrison as well as O. Barnouin and other anonymous reviewers for their helpful comments. Authors would also thank A. Limaye and N. Cubas for English corrections and improvements of the text. This study has benefitted from the Service de Calcul Parallèle et de Traitement de Données en sciences de la Terre (S‐CAPAD) of IPGP. This work has been supported by ANR PLANETEROS, IPGP contribution 3174.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Subject Keywords:Mars; Valles Marineris; landslide; modeling; scar geometry; topography
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20111028-101900209
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Lucas, A., A. Mangeney, D. Mège, and F. Bouchut (2011), Influence of the scar geometry on landslide dynamics and deposits: Application to Martian landslides, J. Geophys. Res., 116, E10001, doi:10.1029/2011JE003803.
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:27487
Deposited By: Jason Perez
Deposited On:28 Oct 2011 20:07
Last Modified:03 Oct 2019 03:23

Repository Staff Only: item control page