2010 Was the Year of LandSlides

NASA’s TRMM satellite confirms 2010 landslides

Around midnight on Aug. 8, 2010, a violent surge of loosened earth roared down mountain slopes and slammed into quietly sleeping neighborhoods in Zhouqu County in Gansu, China. The catastrophic mudslides — the deadliest in decades according to state media — buried some areas under as much as 23 feet (7 meters) of suffocating sludge. 1,765 people died. Property damages totaled an estimated $759 million. Cutting from right to left, this detailed image, from DigitalGlobe’s WorldView-2 satellite, shows the largest slide in the lower part of the city on Aug. 10, 2010. Credit: Image from WorldView-2 © 2010 by DigitalGlobe

 

A NASA study using TRMM satellite data revealed that the year 2010 was a particularly bad year for landslides around the world.

A recent NASA study published in the October issue of the Journal of Hydrometeorology compared satellite rain data from NASA’s Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) to landslides in central eastern China, Central America and the Himalayan Arc, three regions with diverse climates and topography where rainfall-triggered landslides are frequent and destructive hazards to the local populations.

The work, led by Dalia Kirschbaum, a research physical scientist in the Hydrological Sciences Laboratory at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., is part of an ongoing effort to catalog worldwide rainfall-triggered landslides—one of the world’s lesser known but often catastrophic natural hazards. Locating them is a step in an effort to be able, one day, to predict and warn.

This work was funded by the upcoming Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission, which will improve upon current rainfall datasets, with real-time assessment of rainfall accumulations that lead to landslide triggering. The GPM Core satellite is set to launch in 2014 and will extend coverage of precipitation measurements using a constellation of satellites to deliver a global rain dataset every three hours.

For Detail : http://www.nasa.gov/gpm

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