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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Utah Geological Association


Geology of Northern Utah and Vicinity, 1999
Pages 203-222

Comparative Evaluation of Earthquake Sources Associated with the Liquefaction-Induced Farmington Siding Landslide Complex, Northern Utah

Michael D. Hylland


The Farmington Siding landslide complex consists of liquefaction-induced landslides that show evidence of recurrent movement during Holocene and latest Pleistocene time. Features associated with the landslide complex indicate landsliding likely was triggered by strong ground shaking. Numerous faults active during the Holocene exist in the region, including the nearby Weber segment of the Wasatch fault zone. As part of a study to characterize the hazard associated with reactivated landsliding, I used a variety of independent techniques to evaluate the relative likelihood of earthquakes from different sources to trigger liquefaction-induced landsliding at the Farmington Siding landslide complex. Empirical earthquake magnitude-distance relations indicate landsliding could have been triggered by large earthquakes on any of the East Cache, West Cache, East Great Salt Lake, West Valley, Oquirrh, or Wasatch fault zones. Comparisons of peak horizontal ground accelerations with calculated critical accelerations, as well as quantitative estimates of liquefaction severity index and Newmark landslide displacements, illustrate the relative likelihood of liquefaction-induced landsliding caused by large earthquakes from these various sources. The results of these analyses indicate large earthquakes on the Weber segment are significantly more likely than earthquakes from other sources to trigger liquefaction-induced landsliding. Comparison of radiocarbon-based chronologies of landsliding and surface-faulting earthquakes shows a correspondence between the timing of large-scale liquefaction-induced landslides and earthquakes that coincide with relatively high Great Salt Lake levels. These results indicate the likelihood of future large-scale liquefaction-induced landsliding is not only closely tied to the likelihood of a surface-faulting earthquake on the Weber segment, but is further dependent on concurrent hydrogeologic conditions.

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