Global Rainfall-Triggered Landslides from 2007 through 2015

  • Released Thursday, July 2, 2015
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Landslides occur when an environmental trigger like an extreme rain event, often a severe storm or hurricane, and gravity's downward pull sets soil and rock in motion. Conditions beneath the surface are often unstable already, so the heavy rains act as the last straw that causes mud, rocks, or debris- or all combined- to move rapidly down mountains and hillsides. Unfortunately, people and property are often swept up in these unexpected mass movements. Landslides can also be caused by earthquakes, surface freezing and thawing, ice melt, the collapse of groundwater reservoirs, volcanic eruptions, and erosion at the base of a slope from th flow of river or ocean water. But torrential rains most commonly activate landslides. The NASA Global Landslide Catalog (GLC) was developed with the goal of identifying rainfall-triggered landslide events around the world, regardless of size, impact, or location. The GLC considers all types of mass movements triggered by rainfall, which have been reported in the media, disaster databases, scientific reports, or other sources. THe GLC has been compiled since 2007 at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Landslide inventories are critical to support investigations of where and when landslides have happened and may occur in the future; however, there is surprisingly little information on the historical occurrence of landslides at the global scale. This visualization displays all rainfall-triggered landslides from 2007 through December 2015 from a publically available global rainfall-triggered landslide catalog(GLC). This is a valuable database for characterizing global patterns of landslide occurence and evaluating relationshipswith extreme precipitation at regional and global scales. For more information on the Global Landslide Catalog, please visit http://ojo-streamer.herokuapp.com.

Legend for the Global Population of the World, version 3 (GPWv3) in 2000 from NASA's Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC).

Legend for the Global Population of the World, version 3 (GPWv3) in 2000 from NASA's Socioeconomic Data and Applications Center (SEDAC).

New rainfall-triggered landslides are displayed in opaque pink.  The pink overlay is varied with time so that after 30 days, the pink has fully faded away.

New rainfall-triggered landslides are displayed in opaque pink. The pink overlay is varied with time so that after 30 days, the pink has fully faded away.

The 423 rainfall-triggered landslides that occurred in 2009.  Asia reported 239 landslides and North America reported 108.

The 423 rainfall-triggered landslides that occurred in 2009. Asia reported 239 landslides and North America reported 108.

The total 1543 rainfall-triggered landslides during 2010.  Asia reported 736 landslides, North America 462, and South America 191. In 2010, rainfall-triggered landslides caused 5,363 fatalities.

The total 1543 rainfall-triggered landslides during 2010. Asia reported 736 landslides, North America 462, and South America 191. In 2010, rainfall-triggered landslides caused 5,363 fatalities.

The 880 rainfall-trigered landslides detected in 2014.  In 2014, Asia reported 3,632 fatalities of the total 3,848 fatalities worldwide.

The 880 rainfall-trigered landslides detected in 2014. In 2014, Asia reported 3,632 fatalities of the total 3,848 fatalities worldwide.



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NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

Release date

This page was originally published on Thursday, July 2, 2015.
This page was last updated on Tuesday, November 14, 2023 at 12:06 AM EST.


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