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Complex landslides, capable of reactivation, are typical slope movements in high relief areas. Due to their distribution, size and kinematics, these landforms represent a major hazard, posing a high risk to populations, settlements and infrastructures. This paper integrates geomorphological analyses, instrumental measurements and dendrochronological approaches in assessing a large, reactivated landslide system on the southern piedmont of Monte Sirino (southern Italy). The landslide system is associated with weak geological structures, earthquake activity, and rapid recent incision of the mid-Pleistocene Noce lake deposits. Potential reactivation triggers include a higher regional annual rainfall, one of the highest in southern Italy, and more frequent heavy snowfalls in recent decades. Reactivation of the Sirino landslide system has important implications for the motorway connecting Salerno and Reggio Calabria, which crosses it. The results of our study show that the slide is reactivated with an almost decadal frequency and that major reactivations are correlated to prolonged snowfall, which occurs with increasing frequency in the southern Apennines. The last observation suggests the need for similar studies on the behaviour of other landslide systems in the southern Apennines, performing integrated approaches such as geotechnical and dendrogeomorphological analysis.

Keywords: Quercus cerris L; dendrogeomorphology; landslide system; morpho-evolutive analysis; southern Apennines

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-0459.2008.340.x

Affiliations: 1: Department of Civil Engineering, University of Salerno, Italy 2: Department of Earth Sciences, University of Milan, Milano, Italy, Email: manuela.pelfini@unimi.it

Publication date: September 1, 2008

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