Geological and Structural Control of Earthquake-Induced Landslides in El Salvador

  • Ignacio García-FlórezEmail author
  • Meaza Tsige


El Salvador is located at one of the most seismically active areas in Central America. It has suffered several destructive earthquakes during the past 100 year, which have caused severe damage and great loss of life, mainly due to the earthquake-triggered landslides. The triggered landslides are of different types, ranging from relatively shallow falls and slides in rock and debris landslides to large deep-seated landslides, being the latter the most damaging. A detailed analysis of historical and recent coseismic-landslides (failure mechanism, distribution and concentration), together with geological and geotechnical aspects of materials and location of main geological structures, has been carried out. The study shows that there is a great concentration of landslides in the central part of the country, especially near to the El Salvador Fault Zone (ESFZ) independent to the distance and origin of the earthquake. Despite the possible lithological and topographical amplification which are associated mainly to the unconsolidated pyroclastic deposits and the volcanic cones with steep slopes, here it seems that there has been a great ground motion independently to the origin of the earthquake and focal distance, due to local seismic wave deviation or guiding and seismic energy liberation along the fault zone.


El Salvador Landslides triggered by earthquakes El Salvador fault zone Seismic wave guiding 


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Facultad de Ciencias GeológicasMadrid, University Complutense de MadridMadridSpain

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