Landslide Dams in Japan

by Frederick J. Swanson, USDA, Forest Service, Corvallis, OR, USA,
Norio Oyagi, USDA, Forest Service, Corvallis, OR, USA,
Masaki Tominaga, USDA, Forest Service, Corvallis, OR, USA,

Abstract: Damming of rivers by landslides is common in Japan because widespread unstable slopes and narrow valleys exist in conjunction with frequent hydrologic, volcanic, and seismic landslide triggering events. Landslides that dam rivers can be broadly classed as fast ( greater than 1. 5 m/day) and slow ( less than 1. 5 m/day). Fast landslides are further distinguished by the extent of valley floor receiving landslide deposits. Slow landslides are differentiated in terms of location of the basal shear zone in relation to the stream channel. Different landslide types have differing effects on frequency and extent of damming and upsteam and downstream flooding.

Subject Headings: Landslides | Flood frequency | Dams | Rivers and streams | Embankment dams | Stream channels | Volcanoes | Slope stability | Hydrology | Japan | Asia

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