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TitleLandslides that have caused fatalities in Canada since 1771
 
AuthorBlais-Stevens, AORCID logo
SourceGSA 2020 Connects Online; Geological Society of America, Abstracts With Programs vol. 52, no. 6, 2020 p. 1, https://doi.org/10.1130/abs/2020AM-354152 Open Access logo Open Access
Image
Year2020
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20210420
PublisherGeological Society of America
MeetingGeological Society of America Annual Meeting 2020; October 25-28, 2020
Documentserial
Lang.English
Mediadigital; on-line
File formathtml; pdf
ProvinceCanada; Canada; British Columbia; Alberta; Saskatchewan; Manitoba; Ontario; Quebec; New Brunswick; Nova Scotia; Prince Edward Island; Newfoundland and Labrador; Northwest Territories; Yukon; Nunavut
NTS1; 2; 3; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16; 20; 21; 22; 23; 24; 25; 26; 27; 28; 29; 30; 31; 32; 33; 34; 35; 36; 37; 38; 39; 40; 41; 42; 43; 44; 45; 46; 47; 48; 49; 52; 53; 54; 55; 56; 57; 58; 59; 62; 63; 64; 65; 66; 67; 68; 69; 72; 73; 74; 75; 76; 77; 78; 79; 82; 83; 84; 85; 86; 87; 88; 89; 92; 93; 94; 95; 96; 97; 98; 99; 102; 103; 104; 105; 106; 107; 114O; 114P; 115; 116; 117; 120; 340; 560
Lat/Long WENS-141.0000 -50.0000 90.0000 41.7500
Subjectssurficial geology/geomorphology; Science and Technology; Nature and Environment; Health and Safety; landslides; debris flows; slope failures; history; sensitive clays; coastal environment; precipitation; St. Lawrence Lowlands; Frank Slide; Death rate; Development; Infrastructures; glaciomarine sediments
ProgramPublic Safety Geoscience Assessing landslides and marine geohazards
Released2020 10 01
AbstractA revised compilation of historical landslide events that have caused fatalities revealed that at least 785 people perished in Canada from 1771-2019. British Columbia (BC) experienced the highest number of fatalities at 355 (45%) and Québec, the 2nd highest, at 239 (30%). These fatalities mainly reflect development within the landslide prone mountainous terrain in BC and Alberta (73 fatalities; 9%), and sensitive glaciomarine clay areas in Québec. In Newfoundland and Labrador (NL), rockfall from rugged shores are the main reason for 103 fatalities (13%). Fatalities only occurred in two other provinces and one territory: Ontario, 13 fatalities (2%), and 1 fatality (0.1%) in both New Brunswick and the Northwest Territories. The lack of fatalities in the other provinces and territories re likely related to fewer potentially fatal landslide events and low density of population and development.
The greatest number of landslides and associated fatalities occurred during the 1880s to 1920s, when major infrastructure corridors were developed, but landslide hazards were poorly understood. The most common months for fatal landslide events were September to January. In coastal BC, this reflects the occurrence of debris flows triggered along steep mountainous channels by high intensity rainfall events during the fall and winter months. In the St. Lawrence Lowlands, spring (April, May) and fall (September, October) months are the most common for fatal landslides in sensitive clays.
The worst Canadian landslide disaster occurred in the mountains in 1903 at Frank, Alberta, where 73 people perished from a rock avalanche that buried a mining town. Since the event, no development is allowed downslope. In Québec, 35 historical landslides caused 239 fatalities; 24 of these occurred from landslides in sensitive clays. In 1908, a landslide in sensitive clays along the Lièvre River across from Notre-Dame-de-la-Salette generated a displacement wave that caused 34 fatalities. Since 2003, the Québec Ministry of Transportation has developed regional landslide susceptibility maps for most areas to help mitigate landslides in this region.
Since the 1770s, understanding of landslides and their potential triggers has led to several mitigation measures and thus, fewer fatalities per decade.
Summary(Plain Language Summary, not published)
This is a compilation of fatal landslides that have occurred from 1771-2019 in Canada. It discusses that distribution of landslides across Canada's physiographic regions and the evolution of mitigation methods used over time.
GEOSCAN ID329269

 
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