Largest Landslide in the World
The Saidmareh Landslide in Iran moved about five cubic miles of material.
|Landsat image of Saidmareh landslide in Saidmareh, Iran. Image composed using data from NASA's GeoCover database. The source area is bounded on the southwest by the crest of the Kabir Kuh anticline. Debris from the slide travelled down the flank of the anticline, across the Karkheh River and continued across the valley floor. Some material in the slide was carried a distance of 14 kilometers (9 miles). Larger Image
The largest landslide that has been identified on Earth's surface is the Saidmareh Landslide
located in western Iran. The slide occurred about 10,000 years ago when about 20 cubic
kilometers (about 5 cubic miles) of Lower Miocene and Eocene limestone detached along bedding
planes and slipped down the north flank of the Kabir Kuh anticline. The maximum vertical descent was
about 1600 meters (5250 feet).
|Saidmareh landslide is located in
The sliding slab was about 15 kilometers (9 miles) wide and had a surface area of about 165
kilometers (64 square miles). Debris from the slide crossed the Karkheh River at the base of the slope
and spread across the valley floor. Some material in the slide had a travel distance of over
14 kilometers (9 miles).
The slide debris dammed the Karkheh River, causing a large lake to form behind the dam. The lake persisted
long enough for up to 150 meters of sediment to accumulate on its bottom (these sediments currently
support several thousand acres of cultivated land). The lake then breached the dam and eroded a
channel through it.
For more information on the Saidmareh Landslide:
 Shoaei, Z. and Ghayoumian, J., 1998, Seimareh landslide, the largest complex slide in the world, In: Moore D. and Hungr O. (editors), Eighth International Congress of the International Association for Engineering Geology and the Environment, Proceedings, Pages 1337-1342.
 Harrison, J.V. and Falcon, N.L., 1937, The Saidmarreh Landslip, Southwest Iran, Journal of Geology, Volume 84, pages 42-47.
 Petley, D., 2009, The biggest landslide of them all - Saidmareh, Iran, Dave's Landslide Blog.