Title: Continental level landslide susceptibility assessment in the context of the European Union’s Soil Thematic Strategy
Citation: Abstract Proceedings AGU Fall Meeting 2011 p. NH11B-08
Publisher: American Geophysical Union
Publication Year: 2011
JRC N°: JRC67440
URI: http://www.agu.org/cgi-bin/SFgate/SFgate?language=English&verbose=0&listenv=table&application=fm11&convert=&converthl=&refinequery=&formintern=&formextern=&transquery=landslide&_lines=&multiple=0&descriptor=%2fdata%2fepubs%2fwais%2findexes%2ffm11%2ffm11%7
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: In the context of the European Union’s Soil Thematic Strategy, and the formulation of a draft of a European framework directive devoted to the sustainable protection of soil, landslides are recognized as one of the eight soil threats requiring harmonized spatial hazard assessments over the EU territory. The general framework for the harmonized assessment of soil threats (namely erosion, organic matter decline, salinisation, compaction, landslides, contamination, sealing and loss of biodiversity) consists of a nested geographical approach based on “Tiers”, where a semi-quantitative, low-resolution (1:1 million) evaluation (“Tier 1”) using already available pan-European datasets should enable the delineation of priority areas requiring more detailed quantitative inventory-based assessments with additional data (“Tier 2”). In this contribution, we present the elaboration of a continental level “Tier 1” generic landslide susceptibility model based on a heuristic, spatial multi-criteria evaluation (SMCE) approach exploiting the most important conditioning factors for landslides being slope gradient, lithology and land cover. Additionally, extensive landslide locations available at regional and national levels were collected, harmonized and standardized over the EU territory to obtain a signal for input parameter specification and model calibration, evaluation and classification. Since the analyzed area is highly complex in terms of climatic, physiographic and seismotectonic conditions controlling landslide occurrences, a terrain differentiation based on climatic and geomorphologic criteria is proposed to delineate distinct zones to which specific predictor class weights have been allocated through the SMCE approach for susceptibility evaluation. The heuristic indexing scheme is cross-validated with multivariate statistical evaluations in representative areas for which detailed inventory information is available. The resulting pan-European susceptibility estimate classifies 13% of the EU territory as generally prone to landslides, thus requiring more detailed, quantitative inventory-based susceptibility evaluations (“Tier 2”). Compared to globally parameterized susceptibility models, the terrain-differentiated assessment is able to spatially predict landslide occurrences more accurately at the continental scale. Future work will focus on the preparation of typologically differentiated continental-level landslide susceptibility models and maps over Europe.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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