Ecosystem changes following the 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes in Japan: Future perspectives
- 131 Downloads
Major earthquakes cause widespread environmental and socioeconomic disruptions that persist for decades. Extensive ground disturbances that occurred during the shallow-focus Kumamoto earthquakes will affect future sustainability of ecosystem services west of Aso volcano. Numbers of earthquake-initiated landslides per unit area were higher in grasslands than forests, likely owing to greater root reinforcement of trees, and mostly initiated on ridgelines and/or convex/planar hillslopes. Most landslides traveled short distances and did not initially evolve into debris flows; resultant sediments and wood accumulating in headwater channels can be mobilized into debris flows during future storms. Fissures along ridgelines may promote water ingress and induce future landslides and debris flows that affect residents downstream. Native grasses are at risk because of habitat fragmentation caused by ground disturbances, extensive damage to rural roads, and abandonment of traditional pasture management practices. Sustainable management of affected areas needs to consider future risk of cascading hazards and long-term socioeconomic impacts.
KeywordsCascading disasters Ecosystem resetting Landslides Natural hazards Semi-natural grasslands Tipping points
Support from Institute of Global Innovation Research, Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology for two field trips to the Kumamoto site for RCS is gratefully acknowledged. The latter part of the study was supported in part by an International Collaborative Research Grant from Kyoto University, Disaster Prevention Research Institute.
- Bergeron, Y., D. Cyr, C.R. Drever, M. Flannigan, S. Gauthier, D. Kneeshaw, È. Lauzon, A. Leduc, H.L. Goff, and D. Lesieur. 2006. Past, current, and future fire frequencies in Quebec’s commercial forests: Implications for the cumulative effects of harvesting and fire on age-class structure and natural disturbance-based management. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 36: 2737–2744.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Center, Asian Disaster Reduction. 2016. 2016 kumamoto earthquake survey report (Preliminary). Kobe: Asian Disaster Reduction Center.Google Scholar
- Goda, K., G. Campbell, L. Hulme, B. Ismael, L. Ke, R. Marsh, P. Sammonds, E. So, Y. Okumura, and N. Kishi. 2016. The 2016 Kumamoto earthquakes: Cascading geological hazards and compounding risks. Frontiers in Built Environment 2: 19.Google Scholar
- Japan Meteorological Agency. 2016. Climate change monitoring report 2015. Japan: Tokyo.Google Scholar
- Kato, H., Y. Onda, and T. Gomi. 2012. Interception of the Fukushima reactor accident-derived 137Cs, 134Cs and 131I by coniferous forest canopies. Geophysical Research Letters 39: L20403.Google Scholar
- Miyabuchi, Y., and H. Daimaru. 2004. The June 2001 rainfall-induced landslides and associated lahars at Aso volcano (southwestern Japan): Implications for hazard assessment. Acta Vulcanologica 16: 21.Google Scholar
- Sidle, R.C., and J.W. Hornbeck. 1991. Cumulative effects: A broader approach to water quality research. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 46: 268–271.Google Scholar
- Sidle, R. C., K. Kim, Y. Tsuboyama, and I. Hosoda. 2011. Development and application of a simple hydrogeomorphic model for headwater catchments. Water Resources Research 47:W00H13.Google Scholar
- Sugito, N., H. Goto, Y. Kumahara, H. Tsutsumi, T. Nakata, K. Kagohara, N. Matsuta, and H. Yoshida. 2016. Surface fault ruptures associated with the 14 April foreshock (Mj 6.5) of the 2016 Kumamoto earthquake sequence, southwest Japan. Earth, Planets and Space 68:170.Google Scholar