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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2019-3
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/se-2019-3
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 14 Jan 2019

Research article | 14 Jan 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Solid Earth (SE).

Topographic changes due to the 2004 Chuetsu thrusting earthquake in low mountain region

Zhikun Ren1,2, Takashi Oguchi3, Peizhen Zhang2, and Shoichiro Uchiyama4 Zhikun Ren et al.
  • 1Key Laboratory of Active Tectonics and Volcanos, Institute of Geology, China Earthquake Administration, P.O. Box 9803, Beijing 100029, China
  • 2State Key Laboratory of Earthquake Dynamics, Institute of Geology, China Earthquake Administration, P.O. Box 9803, Beijing 100029, China
  • 3Center for Space Information Science, The University of Tokyo, Chiba, 2778568 Japan
  • 4National Research Institute of Earth Science and Disaster Prevention, Tsukuba, Ibaraki, 3050006 Japan

Abstract. The co-seismic landslide volume information is critical to understanding the role of strong earthquake in topographic evolution. However, the co-seismic landslide volumes are mainly obtained using statistical scaling laws, which are not accurate enough for quantitative studies of the spatial pattern of co-seismically induced erosion and the topographic changes caused by the earthquakes. The availability of both pre- and post- earthquake high-resolution DEMs provide us the opportunity to try new approach to get robust landslide volume information. Here, we propose a new method in landslide volume estimate and tested it in Chuetsu region, where a Mw 6.6 earthquake occurred in 2004. Firstly, we align the DEMs by reconstructing the horizontal difference, then we quantitatively obtained the landslide volume in the epicentral area by differencing the pre- and post-earthquake DEMs. We convert the landslide volume into the distribution of average catchment-scale seismically induced denudation. Our results indicate the preserved topography is not only due to the uplifting caused by fault-related folding on the hangwall of Muikamachi fault, but also undergone erosion caused by the seismically induced landslides. Our findings reveal that Chuetsu earthquake mainly roughens the topography in the Chuetsu region of low elevation. This study also reveal that the differential DEM method is a valuable approach in analyzing landslide volume, as well as quantitative geomorphic analysis.

Zhikun Ren et al.
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Short summary
This research might be the first time to study the topographic changes due to strong earthquakes in region of low relief. We use high-resolution pre- and post-earthquake DEMs to detect the topographic changes caused by the Wenchuan earthquake. However, the topographic changes caused by the Chuetsu earthquake is different. Our findings might indicate that the earthquake mainly acts as roughening and driving the topographic growth in region of low relief.
This research might be the first time to study the topographic changes due to strong earthquakes...
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