Title: Landslide inventories in Europe and policy recommendations for their interoperability and harmonisation - A JRC contribution to the EU-FP7 SafeLand project
Publisher: Publications Office of the European Union
Publication Year: 2012
JRC N°: JRC74132
ISBN: 978-92-79-27994-2
ISSN: 1831-9424
Other Identifiers: EUR 25666
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC74132
DOI: 10.2788/75587
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: Landslides are a major natural hazard in most mountainous and hilly regions as well as in steep river banks and coastlines. In the EU Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection landslides are mainly recognized as a soil threat for which areas where they are likely to occur in the future have to be delineated, and measures to reduce their impact have to be designed. Thus the Strategy implies that landslide susceptibility, hazard and risk assessments are needed for appropriate risk management in Europe. To enable such assessments landslide databases, usually including landslide inventory maps and linked alphanumeric information, are a key infrastructure. They should contain information on the location of landslide phenomena, types, history, state of activity, magnitude or size, lithology involved, failure mechanisms, causal factors and the damage caused. Yet, it was not known which national (or regional) landslide databases contain all this information, and thus allow risk assessment. Therefore, this report makes a detailed review of national landslide databases in EU member states, EU official candidate and potential candidate countries and EFTA countries together with a number of regional databases, and proposes improvements for delineating areas at risk in agreement with the EU Soil Thematic Strategy and its associated Proposal for a Soil Framework Directive, and for achieving interoperability and harmonisation in agreement with INSPIRE Directive, which aims at establishing an Infrastructure for Spatial Information in the European Community. The report is based on the analysis of replies to a detailed questionnaire sent out to the competent persons and organisations in 37 European countries in spring 2010 and a review of literature, websites and main European legislation on the subject, carried out in the framework of the EU-FP7 SafeLand project. In total, information has been collected and analysed for 24 national databases in 22 countries and 22 regional databases in 10 countries. At the moment, over 633,000 landslides are recorded in national databases, representing on average less than 50% of the estimated landslides occurred in these countries. The sample of regional databases included over 103,000 landslides, with an estimated completeness substantially higher than that of national databases, as more attention can be paid for data collection over smaller regions. Both for national and regional coverage, information on landslide magnitude, geometrical characteristics, triggering factors, age and impact (damage and casualties) reported in national and regional databases greatly differs, as it strongly depends on the objectives of the database, the data collection methods used, the resources employed and the remaining landslide expression. In particular, information on landslide initiation and/or reactivation dates is generally included for less than 25% of records, thus making hazard and hence risk assessment difficult. In most databases, scarce information on landslide impact further hinders risk assessment at regional and national scales. About half of national and regional agencies provide free web-GIS visualisation services. Yet, the potential of existing landslide databases is often not fully exploited as, in many cases, access by the general public and external researchers is restricted. Additionally, the information is generally only available in the national or local language, thus hampering consultation for most foreigners. Based on these results, suggestions for a minimum set of attributes, i.e. those required for landslide risk assessments, to be collected and made available by European countries in support of EU policies are also presented.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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