Exploring the Dynamics of the August 2010 Mount Meager Rock Slide-Debris Flow Jointly with Seismic Source Inversion and Numerical Landslide Modeling

Thursday, 18 December 2014: 1:40 PM
Kate Allstadt1,2, Laurent Moretti3, Anne Mangeney3, Eleonore Stutzmann3 and Yann Capdeville4, (1)University of Washington Seattle Campus, Seattle, WA, United States, (2)USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory, Visiting Scientist, Vancouver, WA, United States, (3)Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, Paris, France, (4)Université de Nantes, Nantes, Cedex 3, France
The time series of forces exerted on the earth by a large and rapid landslide derived remotely from the inversion of seismic records can be used to tie post-slide evidence to what actually occurred during the event and can be used to tune numerical models and test theoretical methods. This strategy is applied to the 48.5 Mm3 August 2010 Mount Meager rockslide-debris flow in British Columbia, Canada. By inverting data from just five broadband seismic stations less than 300 km from the source, we reconstruct the time series of forces that the landslide exerted on the Earth as it occurred. The result illuminates a complex retrogressive initiation sequence and features attributable to flow over a complicated path including several curves and runup against a valley wall. The seismically derived force history also allows for the estimation of the horizontal acceleration (0.39 m/s^2) and average apparent coefficient of basal friction (0.38) of the rockslide, and the speed of the center of mass of the debris flow (peak of 92 m/s). To extend beyond these simple calculations and to test the interpretation, we also use the seismically derived force history to guide numerical modeling of the event – seeking to simulate the landslide in a way that best fits both the seismic and field constraints. This allows for a finer reconstruction of the volume, timing, and sequence of events, estimates of friction, and spatiotemporal variations in speed and flow thickness. The modeling allowed us to analyze the sensitivity of the force to the different parameters involved in the landslide modeling to better understand what can and cannot be constrained from seismic source inversions of landslide signals.