The Euro-Mediterranean Submarine landSlide database (EMSS21)


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The landslide database over OpenStreet Maps Cartography

EPOS data portal

The landslide database on the European Plate Observatory System data portal

Mediterranean submarine landslide deposits   Key to fields
Mediterranean submarine landslide scars   Key to fields 
Arctic submarine landslide deposits   Key to fields 
Mediterranean submarine landslide deposits  Key to fields 
Mediterranean submarine landslide scars   Key to fields 
Arctic submarine landslide deposits   Key to fields 

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CC-BY 4.0 Except where otherwise noted, the Euro-Mediterranean submarine landslide database (EMSS21) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) license. Contact us to request additional permissions to use the work granted by this license. Permission to use the EMSS21 data is granted subject to full acknowledgment of the source using the suggested citation below.



Urgeles, R., Camerlenghi, A., Ruther, D.C., Fantoni, L., Brückner, N.W., De Pro-Díaz, Y. (2021) Euro-Mediterranean submarine landslide database (EMSS21): online data. Institut de Ciències del Mar (CSIC);



The Euro-Mediterranean Submarine landSlide database (EMSS21) is a catalogue of submarine landslides of the Mediterranean Sea and the European continental margins of the Atlantic and Arctic Oceans. The catalogue is compiled from data available in the literature as well as information collected from geophysical data and not published in the scientific literature. The data set includes polygons and polylines for the landslide deposits and landslide scars as well as information relative to age, volume, area, runout, thickness, typology, scar elevation, geological setting, depth, slope, inferred trigger mechanism, relationship to fluid flow features as well as the relevant metadata. The catalogue includes submarine landslides that span the Miocene to Present day. Nevertheless a clear bias exist towards submarine landslides of younger age, particularly for the smaller events, as these events are difficult to map/identify on lower resolution geophysical data sets typically collected in deep-water and large sub-surface depths. The catalogue aims to offer improved understanding of mass-wasting processes, the potentially resulting tsunamis and derived geohazard.

The EMSS21 displays information collected from both the literature and geophysical records. Data from the literature is collected from georeferenced map figures, from which the outline of the landslide deposit and the landslide scar have been digitized. Most information such as age, volume, typology, inferred trigger mechanism and relationship to fluid flow features and metadata is extracted from the relevant article. Area of the deposit and landslide runout is determined from the digitized polygons and polylines, volume (if not available) is determined from area and mean thickness. If the latter is not available, the volume is determined from the Area-Volume relationship for landslides where volume has already been determined. When the data originates directly from geophysical records the outline and scars have been determined from geomorphological interpretation of swath bathymetric maps and interpretation of submarine landslides on a variety of seismic records. In such instances, age information originates from a variety of methods presenting a wide range of accuracies, from radiometric dating to well-seismic correlation as well as ages inferred from mean sedimentation rates. In many instances, landslides identified in the literature are dated with an age epoch only.


Can I contribute to this effort?

We’d like to see the next version of the EMSS as the seed for the world ocean submarine landslide database. In this regard, the contribution from the offshore geohazards community to this effort is critical to its success. It is also a way for individual researchers results to reach a wider audience. We  believe also that those individuals providing a significant contribution to the next version of the database deserve authorship of the resulting product. Interested? e-mail and we will make available shapefile templates to ease the task.



Zengaffinen-Morris, T., Urgeles, R., Løvholt, F., 2022. On the inference of tsunami uncertainties from landslide run-out observations. Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans n/a, e2021JC018033.

Babeyko, A., Lorito, S., Hernandez, F., Lauterjung, J., Løvholt, F., Rudloff, A., Sørensen, M., Androsov, A., Aniel-Quiroga, I., Armigliato, A., Baptista, M.A., Baglione, E., Basili, R., Behrens, J., Brizuela, B., Bruni, S., Cambaz, D., Nadal, J.C., Carillho, F., Chandler, I., Chang-Seng, D., Charalampakis, M., Cugliari, L., Denamiel, C., Doğan, G.G., Festa, G., Fuhrman, D., Gabriel, A.-A., Galea, P., Gibbons, S., González, M., Graziani, L., Gutscher, M.-A., Harig, S., Hebert, H., Ionescu, C., Jalayer, F., Kalligeris, N., Kânoğlu, U., Lanucara, P., Sánchez, J.M., Murphy, S., Necmioğlu, Ö., Omira, R., Papadopoulos, G., Paris, R., Romano, F., Rossetto, T., Selva, J., Scala, A., Tonini, R., Trevlopoulos, K., Triantafyllou, I., Urgeles, R., Vallone, R., Vilibić, I., Volpe, M., Yalciner, A., 2022. Towards the new Thematic Core Service Tsunami within the EPOS Research Infrastructure. Annals of Geophysics 65, DM215–DM215.

Collico, S., Arroyo; M., Urgeles, R., Gràcia E:, De Vincenzi, M., Peréz, N. (2020): Probabilistic mapping of earthquake-induced submarine landslide susceptibility in the South-West Iberian margin. Marine Geology, 429: 106296.

Papadopoulos, G.A., Gràcia, E., Urgeles, R., Sallares, V., De Martini, P.M., Pantosti, D., González, M., Yalciner, A.C., Mascle, J., Sakellariou, D., Salamon, A., Tinti, S., Karastathis, V., Fokaefs, A., Camerlenghi, A., Novikova, T., Papageorgiou, A. (2014): Historical and pre-historical tsunamis in the Mediterranean and its connected seas: Geological signatures, generation mechanisms and coastal impacts. Marine Geology 354, 81–109.

Urgeles, R., Camerlenghi, A. (2013): Submarine landslides of the Mediterranean Sea: trigger mechanisms, dynamics and frequency‐magnitude distribution, Journal of Geophysical Research Earth Surface, 118: 2600-2618.

Sallarès, V., Gràcia, E., Urgeles, R. (2011): Active faulting and slope failure in the Iberian margins: towards offshore geohazard mitigation. In Briand, G. (Ed.) Marine geo-hazards in the Mediterranean, CIESM Workshop Monograph nº 42, pp. 101-112.

Camerlenghi, A., Urgeles, R., Fantoni, L. (2010): A Database on Submarine Landslides of the Mediterranean Sea. In Mosher, D.C., Moscardelli, L., Shipp, R.C., Chaytor, J.D., Baxter, C.D.P., Lee, H.J., Urgeles, R. (Eds.) Submarine Mass Movements and Their Consequences, Advances in Natural and Technological Hazards Research, 28, Spinger, Dordrecht (The Netherlands), pp. 491-501.




Data compilation has been possible thanks to projects:

Submarine landslides and Their impact on European continental margins (SLATE) – H2020-MSCA-ITN-2016-721403
ImagiNg large SeismogenIc and tsunamiGenic structures of the Gulf of Cadiz with ultra-High resolution Technologies (INSIGHT). – CTM2015-70155-R




The EMSS21 is open to later additions and improvements. For these reasons and due to its intrinsic nature, the EMSS21 cannot be guaranteed to be complete, accurate and updated in any part, and will be subjected to successive revisions. Although the Institut de Ciències del Mar of CSIC makes every effort to supply the best available information, no warranty, expressed or implied, is provided as to the accuracy and reliability of all the data supplied in the EMSS21. Users are cautioned to consider carefully the nature of the data and information before using it for decisions that concern personal or public safety. Conclusions drawn from the EMSS21, or actions undertaken on the basis of its contents, are the sole responsibility of the user.