The 17 March 2005 Kuzulu landslide (Sivas, Turkey) and landslide-susceptibility map of its near vicinity

Gokceoglu C., Sonmez H., Nefeslioglu H. A., Duman T., Can T.

ENGINEERING GEOLOGY, vol.81, no.1, pp.65-83, 2005 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 81 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2005
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.enggeo.2005.07.011
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.65-83
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Landslides are common natural hazards in the seismically active North Anatolian Fault Zone of Turkey. Although seismic activity, heavy rainfall, channel incisions, and anthropogenic effects are commonly the main triggers of landslides, on March 17, 2005, a catastrophic large landslide in Sivas, northeastern of Turkey, the Kuzulu landslide, was triggered by snowmelt without any other precursor. The initial failure of the Kuzulu landslide was rotational. Following the rotational failure, the earth material in the zone of accumulation exhibited an extremely rapid flow caused by steep gradient and high water content. The Agnus Creek valley, where Kuzulu village is located, was filled by the earth-flow material and a landslide dam was formed on the upper part of Agnus Creek. The distance from the toe of the rotational failure down to the toe of the earth flow measured more than 1800 m, with about 12.5 million m(3) of displaced earth material. The velocity of the Kuzulu landslide was extremely fast, approximately 6 m/s. The main purposes of this study are to describe the mechanism and the factors conditioning the Kuzulu landslide, to present its environmental impacts, and to produce landslide-susceptibility maps of the Kuzulu landslide area and its near vicinity. For this purpose, a detailed landslide inventory map, was prepared and geology, slope, aspect, elevation, topographic-wetness index and stream-power index were considered as conditioning factors. During the susceptibility analyses, the conditional probability approach was used and a landslide-susceptibility map was produced. The landslide-susceptibility map will help decision makers in site selection and the site-planning process. The map may also be accepted as a basis for landslide risk-management studies to be applied in the study area. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.