Earth  ID: 4305

Global Rainfall-Triggered Landslides from 2007 through 2015

Landslides occur when an environmental trigger like an extreme rain event, often a severe storm or hurricane, and gravity's downward pull sets soil and rock in motion. Conditions beneath the surface are often unstable already, so the heavy rains act as the last straw that causes mud, rocks, or debris- or all combined- to move rapidly down mountains and hillsides. Unfortunately, people and property are often swept up in these unexpected mass movements. Landslides can also be caused by earthquakes, surface freezing and thawing, ice melt, the collapse of groundwater reservoirs, volcanic eruptions, and erosion at the base of a slope from th flow of river or ocean water. But torrential rains most commonly activate landslides. The NASA Global Landslide Catalog (GLC) was developed with the goal of identifying rainfall-triggered landslide events around the world, regardless of size, impact, or location. The GLC considers all types of mass movements triggered by rainfall, which have been reported in the media, disaster databases, scientific reports, or other sources. THe GLC has been compiled since 2007 at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center.

Landslide inventories are critical to support investigations of where and when landslides have happened and may occur in the future; however, there is surprisingly little information on the historical occurrence of landslides at the global scale. This visualization displays all rainfall-triggered landslides from 2007 through December 2015 from a publically available global rainfall-triggered landslide catalog(GLC). This is a valuable database for characterizing global patterns of landslide occurence and evaluating relationshipswith extreme precipitation at regional and global scales. For more information on the Global Landslide Catalog, please visit


Visualization Credits

Dalia B Kirschbaum (NASA/GSFC): Lead Scientist
Lori Perkins (NASA/GSFC): Lead Data Visualizer
Joy Ng (USRA): Lead Producer
Thomas A. Stanley (USRA): Lead Data Provider
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Scientific Visualization Studio

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Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM)

Data Used:
Global Landslide Catalogue also referred to as: GLC
Database - GCMD
Note: While we identify the data sets used in these visualizations, we do not store any further details nor the data sets themselves on our site.

This item is part of this series:
GPM Animations

DLESE >> Atmospheric science
GCMD >> Earth Science >> Atmosphere >> Precipitation >> Precipitation Amount
SVS >> Hyperwall
NASA Science >> Earth

GCMD keywords can be found on the Internet with the following citation: Olsen, L.M., G. Major, K. Shein, J. Scialdone, S. Ritz, T. Stevens, M. Morahan, A. Aleman, R. Vogel, S. Leicester, H. Weir, M. Meaux, S. Grebas, C.Solomon, M. Holland, T. Northcutt, R. A. Restrepo, R. Bilodeau, 2013. NASA/Global Change Master Directory (GCMD) Earth Science Keywords. Version