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The role of tectonic deformation and landscape evolution in the occurrence of Mass Rock Creep driven landslides: the Loumar landslide (Zagros Belt, Iran)
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  • Michele Delchiaro,
  • Marta Della Seta,
  • Salvatore Martino,
  • Reza Nozaem,
  • Mohammad Moumeni
Michele Delchiaro
Sapienza University of Rome

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Marta Della Seta
Sapienza Università di Roma
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Salvatore Martino
University of Rome
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Reza Nozaem
Imam Khomeini International University
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Mohammad Moumeni
Sapienza University of Rome
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This research focuses on the role of fold growth and river incision in predisposing time-dependent gravitational deformation in slope-scale rock masses. We analyse the case study of the Loumar landslide affecting the NE flank of the Gavar anticline (Zagros Mts., Iran). The landslide evolution seems related to the fold growth that induced the abandonment of a meandering canyon and generated a new narrow gorge that kinetically released the limestone carapace of the flank. In this regard, we infer that Quaternary tectonic deformation and landscape evolution of the fold prepared the flank to the initiation of a Mass Rock Creep (MRC) driven deformation, that evolved into the Loumar viscosity-driven rockslide presently affecting the slope, as evidenced by remote sensing analyses and field survey. We constrain the chronology of the major events that led to the gravitational deformation, through linear temporal conversion of river longitudinal profiles, geomorphometry and OSL dating. The evolution of the drainage network on the flanks of the antiformal ridge highlights that between 568+330/-165 and 81±38 ka, the fold growth, splitted the major streams flowing perpendicular to the fold axis growth. The tectonic deformation related to the vertical and the lateral growth of the fold towards NW, in association with the propagation of minor folds, likely allowed the initiation of the MRC deformation process, in response to river incision. The MRC process cumulated elasto-plastic strain until 5.52±0.36 ka, when the slope evolved into a failure causing the partial occlusion of the valley and the generation of a pond.