Life span of a landslide dam on mountain valley caught on seismic signals and its possible early warnings

Che Ming Yang, Jui Ming Chang, Chi Yao Hung, Chih Heng Lu, Wei-An Chao*, Keng Hao Kang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Outburst flooding after a landslide dam breach causes global fatalities and devastation. Information on the timing, magnitude, and location of the landslide dam is crucial to hazard assessment. Despite recent efforts, successful real-time detection of landslide dams in mountain valleys and dam breakages is rare. Here, we present a series of seismic analysis including landslide detection, identification of landslide dam formations, and monitoring of dam breaches. We show the working of our analysis on a recent landslide dam that occurred in eastern Taiwan. The results indicate that our seismic analysis provides important information on the location and magnitude of landslides and the dam forming based on data acquired from a regional broadband seismic network. Furthermore, we see that the failure of the landslide dam is directly caught by the riverside seismic signals. To provide warning times for impending floods to downstream areas, we believe that proximal high-quality seismic signals along the river channel are viable options for an operational real-time monitoring system, for landslide dams occurring in mountain valleys. Our work can be a starting point to raise awareness in the community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)637-646
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Impending floods
  • Landslide dam
  • Seismic signals
  • Warning times


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