Identification of co-seismic ground motion due to fracturing and impact of the Tsaoling landslide, Taiwan

Chih Yu Kuo, Kuo Jen Chang, Pi Wen Tsai, Shao Kuan Wei, Rou Fei Chen, Jia Jyun Dong, Che Ming Yang, Yu Chang Chan, Yih Chin Tai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Earthquakes can generate seismic disturbances that propagate vast distances and trigger landslides that can achieve high-speeds. It remains difficult to identify the co-seismic ground motion of these landslides and their triggering earthquakes. In this paper, we report on the analysis of co-seismic ground motions generated by the initiating fracture and deposition impact of the Tsaoling landslide. The landslide, with a source volume of 125×106m3, was triggered by the 1999 Chi-Chi earthquake in Taiwan. The ground motion was recorded by a strong ground motion station, CHY080, near the scar area. The polarization of the seismic waves indicates that the peak acceleration was parallel to the dip direction. Modified ensemble empirical mode decomposition (EEMD), with additional clustering analysis, was applied to decompose the seismic signals. Two instances were found in the seismic records of a series of peculiar wave packets, with the first being associated with the landslide initiation and the second the landslide impact on the deposit valley. To confirm the first landslide breakage, the decomposed signals were compared with the predictions of the analytic elastic wave model and Newmark analysis. The landslide impact was verified with a computational fluid dynamic simulation. Comparison between the EEMD decomposed signals, elastic wave theory, Newmark rigid body analysis, and numerical simulation demonstrates the claimed landslide motion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-279
Number of pages12
JournalEngineering Geology
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Sept 8

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology


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