Timing of the Landslide-Dammed Lake Triggered by Earthquake, at Toyama River, Central Japan
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CitationGoto, A. S., Muramatsu, T., & Teraoka, Y. (2010). Timing of the landslide-dammed lake triggered by earthquake, at Toyama river, central Japan. Radiocarbon, 52(3), 1090-1097.
DescriptionFrom the 20th International Radiocarbon Conference held in Kona, Hawaii, USA, May 31-June 3, 2009.
AbstractHuge landslides triggered by strong earthquakes or torrential rains can result in unstable natural dams that pose serious risks to humans. In this study, we attempt to document the age of an ancient earthquake that produced a landslide-dammed lake. A buried forest found in the Toyama River area of the southern Nagano Prefecture, central Japan, provides evidence of this event. The dammed lake formation has been previously estimated to have occurred in AD 714. However, the age of the dam and the way it was formed have never been directly determined. To determine the position and timing of the landslide dam, we analyzed the radiocarbon content of branches and wood fragments from a brecciated deposit. We show that the 14C dating method is suitable for clarifying the timing of burial for a variety of trees, although the method does not produce a narrow age for the event. In addition to the dating, we determined the landslide dam's position and reconstructed the formation of the lake.