Identification and Estimation of the Determinants of Rockslide Runout

Kenneth H. Tiedemann


Landslides, Rockslides, Rock falls, Runout distance


A rockslide is a rapid flow-like movement of a large rock mass which is initially intact. One distinguishing feature of rockslides is their unusually long runout, and various analytical models have been proposed to model the determinants of landslide runout. This paper models the determinants of landslide runout for a sample of 34 large rockslides using White’s heteroscedastic consistent estimator. Key findings are as follows. First, the average length of runout for the sample is 5,947 m, the average height is 1,513 m, and the average volume is 5.597 109m3. Second, an increase in rockslide volume of 109m3 increases rockslide runout by an average of 115.6 m. Third, an increase in rockslide height of 1 m increase rockslide run out by an average of 3.14 m. Fourth, there is evidence that runout behavior is statistically significantly different in the three rockslide zones examined, the Himalayas, North America and the New Zealand Southern Alps.

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