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Mobility, Thickness, and Hydraulic Diffusivity of the Slow‐Moving Monroe...

Hu, X., R. Burgmann, Z. Lu, A. Handwerger, T. Wang, and R. Miao (2019), Mobility, Thickness, and Hydraulic Diffusivity of the Slow‐Moving Monroe Landslide in California Revealed by L‐Band Satellite Radar Interferometry, J. Geophys. Res., 124, 7504-7518, doi:10.1029/2019JB017560.

Active landslides cause fatalities and property losses worldwide. Landslide behaviors can be enigmatic in natural landscapes and therefore require high‐quality observations of their kinematics to improve our ability to predict landslide behavior. Here we use geodetic interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR) observations to characterize the geometry and the spatio‐temporal deformation of the slow‐moving, deep‐seated Monroe landslide in northern California between 2007 and 2017. InSAR phase discontinuities show that the landslide is bounded by discrete strike‐slip faults at the lateral margins and segregated into distinct kinematic elements by normal and thrust faults. We find that the Monroe landslide has been moving consistently, with a maximum rate of about 0.7 m/year in the narrowest longitudinal center of the transport zone. The thickest landslide mass is estimated to be in a zone located between subsiding and the uplifting kinematic elements at the lower transport zone. The timing and magnitude of the landslide displacement are modulated by the intensity and duration of precipitation, as well as the antecedent water content of the landslide mass. In addition, we use a one‐dimensional pore‐water pressure diffusion model to estimate the rainfall‐modulated pore‐water pressure changes and hydraulic diffusivity. We find hydraulic diffusivity values between 6.8 ×10^−5 m2/s, which agrees with ground‐based measurements in this region. Displacement measurements on the hillslopes obtained from geodetic InSAR observations allow us to characterize the mobility, depth, and hydraulic diffusivity of slow‐moving landslides.

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Earth Surface & Interior Program (ESI)