Flank Collapse


The remnants of massive landslides are apparent in the nearshore bathymetric record of many oceanic volcanoes. These include the Hawaiian Islands in the Pacific, and the Canarian and Cape Verdean Islands in the Atlantic. The triggering of these landslides is enigmatic, as the flanks of these volcanoes are sometimes only gently inclined - those of the Hawaiian Islands are inclined at only the order of 10 degrees. Our interest in these has been in defining mechanisms that can trigger such large landslides, with interest in shield volcanoes of the Hawaiian Islands, the Canarian and Cape Verdean Islands, and in stratovolcanoes such as Mount St. Helens, focusing on the role of inertior fluid pressures in triggering collapse.      


Vinciguerra, S., Elsworth, D., and Malone, S. (2004) The 1980 pressure response and flank failure of Mt. St. Helens (USA) inferred by seismic scaling exponents. Submitted for publication. J. Volc. And Geotherm. Res. 36 pp.

Elsworth, D. and Day, S. J. (1999) Flank collapse triggered by intrusion: the Canarian and Cape Verde archipelagoes.  J. Volcanol. & Geotherm. Res., Vol. 95, No. 1-4, pp. 323 340. [pdf]

Voight, B. and Elsworth, D. (1997) Failure of volcano slopes. Geotechnique, Vol. 47, No. 1, pp. 1 - 31. [pdf]

Elsworth, D. and Voight, B. (1995) Dike intrusion as a trigger for large earthquakes and the failure of volcano flanks. J. Geophys. Res., Vol. 100, No. B4, April, pp. 6005-6024. [pdf]

Elsworth, D. and Voight, B. (1992) Theory of dike intrusion in a saturated porous solid. J. Geophys. Res., Vol. 97, No. B6, pp. 9105 - 9117. [pdf]

This page last updated: Friday October 22, 2004. Return to homepage.