Integrated database for rapid mass movements in Norway
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- NGI articles 
Rapid gravitational slope mass movements include all kinds of short term relocation of geological material, snow or ice. Traditionally, information about such events is collected separately in different databases covering selected geographical regions and types of movement. In Norway the terrain is susceptible to all types of rapid gravitational slope mass movements ranging from single rocks hitting roads and houses to large snow avalanches and rock slides where entire mountainsides collapse into fjords creating flood waves and endangering large areas. In addition, quick clay slides occur in desalinated marine sediments in South Eastern and Mid Norway. For the authorities and inhabitants of endangered areas, the type of threat is of minor importance and mitigation measures have to consider several types of rapid mass movements simultaneously. An integrated national database for all types of rapid mass movements built around individual events has been established. Only three data entries are mandatory: time, location and type of movement. The remaining optional parameters enable recording of detailed information about the terrain, materials involved and damages caused. Pictures, movies and other documentation can be uploaded into the database. A web-based graphical user interface has been developed allowing new events to be entered, as well as editing and querying for all events. An integration of the database into a GIS system is currently under development. Datasets from various national sources like the road authorities and the Geological Survey of Norway were imported into the database. Today, the database contains 33 000 rapid mass movement events from the last five hundred years covering the entire country. A first analysis of the data shows that the most frequent type of recorded rapid mass movement is rock slides and snow avalanches followed by debris slides in third place. Most events are recorded in the steep fjord terrain of the Norwegian west coast, but major events are recorded all over the country. Snow avalanches account for most fatalities, while large rock slides causing flood waves and huge quick clay slides are the most damaging individual events in terms of damage to infrastructure and property and for causing multiple fatalities. The quality of the data is strongly influenced by the personal engagement of local observers and varying observation routines. This database is a unique source for statistical analysis including, risk analysis and the relation between rapid mass movements and climate. The database of rapid mass movement events will also facilitate validation of national hazard and risk maps.