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Frictional velocity-weakening in landslides on Earth and on other planetary bodies

Lucas, Antoine and Mangeney, Anne and Ampuero, Jean-Paul (2014) Frictional velocity-weakening in landslides on Earth and on other planetary bodies. Nature Communications, 5 (3). Art. No. 3417. ISSN 2041-1723. doi:10.1038/ncomms4417.

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One of the ultimate goals in landslide hazard assessment is to predict maximum landslide extension and velocity. Despite much work, the physical processes governing energy dissipation during these natural granular flows remain uncertain. Field observations show that large landslides travel over unexpectedly long distances, suggesting low dissipation. Numerical simulations of landslides require a small friction coefficient to reproduce the extension of their deposits. Here, based on analytical and numerical solutions for granular flows constrained by remote-sensing observations, we develop a consistent method to estimate the effective friction coefficient of landslides. This method uses a constant basal friction coefficient that reproduces the first-order landslide properties. We show that friction decreases with increasing volume or, more fundamentally, with increasing sliding velocity. Inspired by frictional weakening mechanisms thought to operate during earthquakes, we propose an empirical velocity-weakening friction law under a unifying phenomenological framework applicable to small and large landslides observed on Earth and beyond.

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Ampuero, Jean-Paul0000-0002-4827-7987
Additional Information:© 2014 Macmillan Publishers Limited. Received 6 Aug 2013; Accepted 10 Feb 2014; Published 4 Mar 2014. The authors would like to thank J. Rice, N. Cubas, N. Lapusta, F. Passelègue, A. Schubnel, N. Brantut, M. Lapotre, J. Melosh, L. Moretti, A. Valance, P. Richard, R. Delannay, N. Brodu, O. Pouliquen, K. Miljković and O. Aharonson for interesting discussions and feedback. The authors also thank the French Space Agency (CNES) for its support. The research was funded by French ANR PLANETEROS and LANDQUAKES, by the Terrestrial Hazard Observation and Reporting (THOR) Center at Caltech and by Campus Spatial Grant from Université Paris-Diderot. Author contributions: A.L. collected the data, ran the numerical simulations, derived the digital terrain models, produced the figures and supplementary information ancillary materials and played a major role in the quantitative analysis. A.M. supervised the numerical analysis. A.L. and A.M. carried out the analytical development. J.P.A. developed the perspective on friction weakening processes from earthquake science. All the authors shared ideas, contributed to the interpretation of the results and to writing the manuscript.
Group:Seismological Laboratory
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Centre National d'Études Spatiales (CNES)UNSPECIFIED
Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (ANR)PLANETEROS
Agence Nationale pour la Recherche (ANR)LANDQUAKES
Caltech Terrestrial Hazard Observation and Reporting (THOR) CenterUNSPECIFIED
Université Paris-Diderot Campus Spatial GrantUNSPECIFIED
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140404-131756939
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Official Citation:Lucas, A. et al. Frictional velocity-weakening in landslides on Earth and on other planetary bodies. Nat. Commun. 5:3417 doi: 10.1038/ncomms4417 (2014)
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:44664
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:04 Apr 2014 22:06
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 16:55

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