Articles | Volume 21, issue 11
11 Nov 2021
Research article | 11 Nov 2021
Investigating causal factors of shallow landslides in grassland regions of Switzerland
Lauren Zweifel et al.
No articles found.
Lena Wohlgemuth, Pasi Rautio, Bernd Ahrends, Alexander Russ, Lars Vesterdal, Peter Waldner, Volkmar Timmermann, Nadine Eickenscheidt, Alfred Fürst, Martin Greve, Peter Roskams, Anne Thimonier, Manuel Nicolas, Anna Kowalska, Morten Ingerslev, Päivi Merilä, Sue Benham, Carmen Iacoban, Günter Hoch, Christine Alewell, and Martin Jiskra
Biogeosciences, 19, 1335–1353,Short summary
Gaseous mercury is present in the atmosphere all over the globe. During the growing season, plants take up mercury from the air in a similar way as CO2. We investigated which factors impact this vegetational mercury uptake by analyzing a large dataset of leaf mercury uptake rates of trees in Europe. As a result, we conclude that mercury uptake is foremost controlled by tree-intrinsic traits like physiological activity but also by climatic factors like dry conditions in the air and in soils.
Florian Wilken, Peter Fiener, Michael Ketterer, Katrin Meusburger, Daniel Iragi Muhindo, Kristof van Oost, and Sebastian Doetterl
SOIL, 7, 399–414,Short summary
This study demonstrates the usability of fallout radionuclides 239Pu and 240Pu as a tool to assess soil degradation processes in tropical Africa, which is particularly valuable in regions with limited infrastructure and challenging monitoring conditions for landscape-scale soil degradation monitoring. The study shows no indication of soil redistribution in forest sites but substantial soil redistribution in cropland (sedimentation >40 cm in 55 years) with high variability.
Pedro Batista, Peter Fiener, Simon Scheper, and Christine Alewell
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript under review for HESSShort summary
In central Switzerland, agricultural catchments have a large number of small fields, which are separated by linear features, such as roads and grass-strips. When eroded sediments are transported out of fields by surface runoff, these features can (dis)connect the sediment dynamics. By use of measured data and a simulation model, we demonstrated how the road network facilitates sediment transport from fields to water courses in a typical Swiss agricultural catchment.
Maral Khodadadi, Christine Alewell, Mohammad Mirzaei, Ehssan Ehssan-Malahat, Farrokh Asadzadeh, Peter Strauss, and Katrin Meusburger
Revised manuscript not acceptedShort summary
Forest soils store carbon and therefore play an important role in mitigating climate change impacts. Yet again, deforestation for farming and grazing purposes has grown rapidly over the last decades. Thus, its impacts on soil erosion and soil quality should be understood in order to adopt sustainable management measures. The results of this study indicated that deforestation can prompt soil loss by multiple orders of magnitude and deteriorate the soil quality in both topsoil and subsoil.
Claudia Mignani, Jörg Wieder, Michael A. Sprenger, Zamin A. Kanji, Jan Henneberger, Christine Alewell, and Franz Conen
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 21, 657–664,Short summary
Most precipitation above land starts with ice in clouds. It is promoted by extremely rare particles. Some ice-nucleating particles (INPs) cause cloud droplets to already freeze above −15°C, a temperature at which many clouds begin to snow. We found that the abundance of such INPs among other particles of similar size is highest in precipitating air masses and lowest when air carries desert dust. This brings us closer to understanding the interactions between land, clouds, and precipitation.
Lena Wohlgemuth, Stefan Osterwalder, Carl Joseph, Ansgar Kahmen, Günter Hoch, Christine Alewell, and Martin Jiskra
Biogeosciences, 17, 6441–6456,Short summary
Mercury uptake by trees from the air represents an important but poorly quantified pathway in the global mercury cycle. We determined mercury uptake fluxes by leaves and needles at 10 European forests which were 4 times larger than mercury deposition via rainfall. The amount of mercury taken up by leaves and needles depends on their age and growing height on the tree. Scaling up our measurements to the forest area of Europe, we estimate that each year 20 t of mercury is taken up by trees.
Miriam Groß-Schmölders, Pascal von Sengbusch, Jan Paul Krüger, Kristy Klein, Axel Birkholz, Jens Leifeld, and Christine Alewell
SOIL, 6, 299–313,Short summary
Degradation turns peatlands into a source of CO2. There is no cost- or time-efficient method available for indicating peatland hydrology or the success of restoration. We found that 15N values have a clear link to microbial communities and degradation. We identified trends in natural, drained and rewetted conditions and concluded that 15N depth profiles can act as a reliable and efficient tool for obtaining information on current hydrology, restoration success and drainage history.
Pranav Hirave, Guido L. B. Wiesenberg, Axel Birkholz, and Christine Alewell
Biogeosciences, 17, 2169–2180,Short summary
Sediment input into water bodies is a prominent threat to freshwater ecosystems. We tested the stability of tracers employed in freshwater sediment tracing based on compound-specific isotope analysis during early degradation in soil. While bulk δ13C values showed no stability, δ13C values of plant-derived fatty acids and n-alkanes were stably transferred to the soil without soil particle size dependency after an early degradation in organic horizons, thus indicating their suitability as tracers.
Marlène Lavrieux, Axel Birkholz, Katrin Meusburger, Guido L. B. Wiesenberg, Adrian Gilli, Christian Stamm, and Christine Alewell
Biogeosciences, 16, 2131–2146,Short summary
A fingerprinting approach using compound-specific stable isotopes was applied to a lake sediment core to reconstruct erosion processes over the past 150 years in a Swiss catchment. Even though the reconstruction of land use and eutrophication history was successful, the observation of comparatively low δ13C values of plant-derived fatty acids in the sediment suggests their alteration within the lake. Thus, their use as a tool for source attribution in sediment cores needs further investigation.
Claudia Mignani, Jessie M. Creamean, Lukas Zimmermann, Christine Alewell, and Franz Conen
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 19, 877–886,Short summary
A snow crystal can be generated from an ice nucleating particle or from an ice splinter. In this study we made use of the fact that snow crystals with a particular shape (dendrites) grow within a narrow temperature range (−12 to −17 °C) and can be analysed individually for the presence of an ice nucleating particle. Our direct approach revealed that only one in eight crystals contained such a particle and was of primary origin. The other crystals must have grown from ice splinters.
Laura Arata, Katrin Meusburger, Alexandra Bürge, Markus Zehringer, Michael E. Ketterer, Lionel Mabit, and Christine Alewell
SOIL, 3, 113–122,
Emiliano Stopelli, Franz Conen, Caroline Guilbaud, Jakob Zopfi, Christine Alewell, and Cindy E. Morris
Biogeosciences, 14, 1189–1196,Short summary
Based on the analysis of precipitation collected at high altitude, this study provides a relevant advancement in the assessment of the major factors responsible for the abundance and variability of airborne bacterial cells and Pseudomonas syringae in relation to ice nucleators. This is of prime importance to obtain a better understanding of the impact of ice-nucleation-active organisms on the development of precipitation and to determine the dispersal potential of airborne microorganisms.
Simon Schmidt, Christine Alewell, Panos Panagos, and Katrin Meusburger
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 4359–4373,Short summary
We present novel research on the seasonal dynamics of the impact of rainfall (R-factor) on the mobilization of topsoil as soil erosion by water for Switzerland. A modeling approach was chosen that enables the dynamical mapping of the R-factor. Based on the maps and modeling results, we could investigate the spatial and temporal distribution of that factor, which is high for Switzerland. With these results, agronomists can introduce selective erosion control measures.
Emiliano Stopelli, Franz Conen, Cindy E. Morris, Erik Herrmann, Stephan Henne, Martin Steinbacher, and Christine Alewell
Atmos. Chem. Phys., 16, 8341–8351,Short summary
Knowing the variability of ice nucleating particles (INPs) helps determining their role in the formation of precipitation. Here we describe and predict the concentrations of INPs active at −8 °C in precipitation samples collected at Jungfraujoch (CH, 3580 m a.s.l.). A high abundance of these INPs can be expected whenever a coincidence of high wind speed and first precipitation from an air mass occurs. This expands the set of conditions where such INPs could affect the onset of precipitation.
Christine Alewell, Axel Birkholz, Katrin Meusburger, Yael Schindler Wildhaber, and Lionel Mabit
Biogeosciences, 13, 1587–1596,Short summary
Origin of suspended sediments in rivers is of crucial importance for optimization of catchment management. Sediment source attribution to a lowland river in central Switzerland with compound specific stable isotopes analysis (CSIA) indicated that 65 % of the suspended sediments originated from agricultural land during base flow, while forest was the dominant source during high flow. We achieved significant differences in CSIA signature from land uses dominated by C3 plant cultivation.
S. Osterwalder, J. Fritsche, C. Alewell, M. Schmutz, M. B. Nilsson, G. Jocher, J. Sommar, J. Rinne, and K. Bishop
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 9, 509–524,Short summary
Human activities have increased mercury (Hg) cycling between land and atmosphere. To define landscapes as sinks or sources of Hg we have developed an advanced REA system for long-term measurements of gaseous elemental Hg exchange. It was tested in two contrasting environments: above Basel, Switzerland, and a peatland in Sweden. Both landscapes showed net Hg emission (15 and 3 ng m−2 h−1, respectively). The novel system will help to advance our understanding of Hg exchange on an ecosystem scale.
J. P. Krüger, J. Leifeld, S. Glatzel, S. Szidat, and C. Alewell
Biogeosciences, 12, 2861–2871,Short summary
Biogeochemical soil parameters are studied to detect peatland degradation along a land use gradient (intensive, extensive, near-natural). Stable carbon isotopes, radiocarbon ages and ash content confirm peat growth in the near-natural bog but also indicate previous degradation. When the bog is managed extensively or intensively as grassland, all parameters indicate degradation and substantial C loss of the order of 18.8 to 42.9 kg C m-2.
K. Meusburger, G. Leitinger, L. Mabit, M. H. Mueller, A. Walter, and C. Alewell
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 3763–3775,
S. Stanchi, M. Freppaz, E. Ceaglio, M. Maggioni, K. Meusburger, C. Alewell, and E. Zanini
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 14, 1761–1771,
J. P. Krüger, J. Leifeld, and C. Alewell
Biogeosciences, 11, 3369–3380,
E. Stopelli, F. Conen, L. Zimmermann, C. Alewell, and C. E. Morris
Atmos. Meas. Tech., 7, 129–134,
K. Meusburger, L. Mabit, J.-H. Park, T. Sandor, and C. Alewell
Biogeosciences, 10, 5627–5638,
K. Meusburger, G. Leitinger, L. Mabit, M. H. Mueller, and C. Alewell
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,
M. H. Mueller, R. Weingartner, and C. Alewell
Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci., 17, 1661–1679,
Related subject area
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Andrea Manconi, Alessandro C. Mondini, and the AlpArray working group
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 1655–1664,Short summary
Information on when, where, and how landslide events occur is the key to building complete catalogues and performing accurate hazard assessments. Here we show a procedure that allows us to benefit from the increased density of seismic sensors installed on ground for earthquake monitoring and from the unprecedented availability of satellite radar data. We show how the procedure works on a recent sequence of landslides that occurred at Piz Cengalo (Swiss Alps) in 2017.
Andrew Mitchell, Sophia Zubrycky, Scott McDougall, Jordan Aaron, Mylène Jacquemart, Johannes Hübl, Roland Kaitna, and Christoph Graf
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 1627–1654,Short summary
Debris flows are complex, surging movements of sediment and water. Discharge observations from well-studied debris-flow channels were used as inputs for a numerical modelling study of the downstream effects of chaotic inflows. The results show that downstream impacts are sensitive to inflow conditions. Inflow conditions for predictive modelling are highly uncertain, and our method provides a means to estimate the potential variability in future events.
Sansar Raj Meena, Silvia Puliero, Kushanav Bhuyan, Mario Floris, and Filippo Catani
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 1395–1417,Short summary
The study investigated the importance of the conditioning factors in predicting landslide occurrences using the mentioned models. In this paper, we evaluated the importance of the conditioning factors (features) in the overall prediction capabilities of the statistical and machine learning algorithms.
Pierpaolo Distefano, David J. Peres, Pietro Scandura, and Antonino Cancelliere
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 1151–1157,Short summary
In the communication, we introduce the use of artificial neural networks (ANNs) for improving the performance of rainfall thresholds for landslide early warning. Results show how ANNs using rainfall event duration and mean intensity perform significantly better than a classical power law based on the same variables. Adding peak rainfall intensity as input to the ANN improves performance even more. This further demonstrates the potentialities of the proposed machine learning approach.
Robert Emberson, Dalia B. Kirschbaum, Pukar Amatya, Hakan Tanyas, and Odin Marc
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 1129–1149,Short summary
Understanding where landslides occur in mountainous areas is critical to support hazard analysis as well as understand landscape evolution. In this study, we present a large compilation of inventories of landslides triggered by rainfall, including several that are described here for the first time. We analyze the topographic characteristics of the landslides, finding consistent relationships for landslide source and deposition areas, despite differences in the inventories' locations.
Alexander L. Handwerger, Mong-Han Huang, Shannan Y. Jones, Pukar Amatya, Hannah R. Kerner, and Dalia B. Kirschbaum
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 753–773,Short summary
Rapid detection of landslides is critical for emergency response and disaster mitigation. Here we develop a global landslide detection tool in Google Earth Engine that uses satellite radar data to measure changes in the ground surface properties. We find that we can detect areas with high landslide density within days of a triggering event. Our approach allows the broader hazard community to utilize these state-of-the-art data for improved situational awareness of landslide hazards.
Qiwen Lin, Yufeng Wang, Yu Xie, Qiangong Cheng, and Kaifeng Deng
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 639–657,Short summary
Fracturing and fragmentation of rock blocks are important and universal phenomena during the movement of rock avalanches (large and long-run-out rockslide-debris avalanches). The movement of a fragmenting rock block is simulated by the discrete element method, aiming to quantify the fracturing and fragmentation effect of the block in propagation. The fracturing and fragmentation processes and their influences on energy transformation in the system are described in detail.
Napoleon Gudino-Elizondo, Matthew W. Brand, Trent W. Biggs, Alejandro Hinojosa-Corona, Álvaro Gómez-Gutiérrez, Eddy Langendoen, Ronald Bingner, Yongping Yuan, and Brett F. Sanders
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 523–538,Short summary
Mass movement hazards in the form of gullies and landslides pose significant risks in urbanizing areas yet are poorly documented. This paper presents observations and modeling of mass movement events over a 5-year period in Tijuana, Mexico. Three major events were observed, and all were linked to water resources infrastructure failures (WRIFs), namely leaks and breaks in water supply pipes. Modeling shows that WRIF-based erosion was also a non-negligible contributor to the total sediment budget.
David G. Milledge, Dino G. Bellugi, Jack Watt, and Alexander L. Densmore
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 481–508,Short summary
Earthquakes can trigger thousands of landslides, causing severe and widespread damage. Efforts to understand what controls these landslides rely heavily on costly and time-consuming manual mapping from satellite imagery. We developed a new method that automatically detects landslides triggered by earthquakes using thousands of free satellite images. We found that in the majority of cases, it was as skilful at identifying the locations of landslides as the manual maps that we tested it against.
Sohrab Sharifi, Michael T. Hendry, Renato Macciotta, and Trevor Evans
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 411–430,Short summary
This study is devoted to comparing the effectiveness of three different filters for noise reduction of instruments. It was observed that the Savitzky–Golay and Gaussian-weighted moving average filters outperform the simple moving average. Application of these two filters in real-time landslide monitoring leads to timely detection of acceleration moment and better preservation of information regarding displacement and velocity.
Alex Garcés, Gerardo Zegers, Albert Cabré, Germán Aguilar, Aldo Tamburrino, and Santiago Montserrat
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 22, 377–393,Short summary
We propose a workflow to model the response of an alluvial fan located in the Atacama Desert during an extreme storm event. For this alluvial fan, five different deposits were identified and associated with different debris flow surges. Using a commercial software program, our workflow concatenates these surges into one model. This study depicts the significance of the mechanical classification of debris flows to reproduce how an alluvial fan controls the tributary–river junction connectivity.
Jim S. Whiteley, Arnaud Watlet, J. Michael Kendall, and Jonathan E. Chambers
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 3863–3871,Short summary
This work summarises the contribution of geophysical imaging methods to establishing and operating local landslide early warning systems, demonstrated through a conceptual framework. We identify developments in geophysical monitoring equipment, the spatiotemporal resolutions of these approaches and methods to translate geophysical to geotechnical information as the primary benefits that geophysics brings to slope-scale early warning.
Vipin Kumar, Léna Cauchie, Anne-Sophie Mreyen, Mihai Micu, and Hans-Balder Havenith
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 3767–3788,Short summary
The SE Carpathians belong to one of the most active seismic regions of Europe. In recent decades, extreme rainfall events have also been common. These natural processes result in frequent landslides, particularly of a debris flow type. Despite such regimes, the region has been little explored to understand the response of the landslides in seismic and rainfall conditions. This study attempts to fill this gap by evaluating landslide responses under seismic and extreme-rainfall regimes.
Karel Martínek, Kryštof Verner, Tomáš Hroch, Leta A. Megerssa, Veronika Kopačková, David Buriánek, Ameha Muluneh, Radka Kalinová, Miheret Yakob, and Muluken Kassa
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 3465–3487,Short summary
This study combines field geological and geohazard mapping with remote sensing data. Geostatistical analysis evaluated precipitation, land use, vegetation density, rock mass strength, and tectonics. Contrasting tectonic and climatic setting of the Main Ethiopian Rift and uplifted Ethiopian Plateau have major impacts on the distribution of landslides.
Ivo Janos Fustos-Toribio, Bastian Morales-Vargas, Marcelo Somos-Valenzuela, Pablo Moreno-Yaeger, Ramiro Muñoz-Ramirez, Ines Rodriguez Araneda, and Ningsheng Chen
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 3015–3029,Short summary
Links between debris flow and volcanic evolution are an open question in the southern Andes. We modelled the catastrophic debris flow using field data, a geotechnical approach and numerical modelling of the Petrohué event (Chile, 2017). Our results indicated new debris-flow-prone zones. Finally, we propose considering connections between volcanoes and debris flow in the southern Andes.
Katy Burrows, David Milledge, Richard J. Walters, and Dino Bellugi
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 2993–3014,Short summary
When cloud cover obscures optical satellite imagery, there are two options remaining for generating information on earthquake-triggered landslide locations: (1) models which predict landslide locations based on, e.g., slope and ground shaking data and (2) satellite radar data, which penetrates cloud cover and is sensitive to landslides. Here we show that the two approaches can be combined to give a more consistent and more accurate model of landslide locations after an earthquake.
Jacob Hirschberg, Alexandre Badoux, Brian W. McArdell, Elena Leonarduzzi, and Peter Molnar
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 2773–2789,Short summary
Debris-flow prediction is often based on rainfall thresholds, but uncertainty assessments are rare. We established rainfall thresholds using two approaches and find that 25 debris flows are needed for uncertainties to converge in an Alpine basin and that the suitable method differs for regional compared to local thresholds. Finally, we demonstrate the potential of a statistical learning algorithm to improve threshold performance. These findings are helpful for early warning system development.
Jason Goetz, Robin Kohrs, Eric Parra Hormazábal, Manuel Bustos Morales, María Belén Araneda Riquelme, Cristián Henríquez, and Alexander Brenning
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 2543–2562,Short summary
Debris flows are fast-moving landslides that can cause incredible destruction to lives and property. Using the Andes of Santiago as an example, we developed tools to finetune and validate models predicting likely runout paths over large regions. We anticipate that our automated approach that links the open-source R software with SAGA-GIS will make debris-flow runout simulation more readily accessible and thus enable researchers and spatial planners to improve regional-scale hazard assessments.
Christian Zangerl, Annemarie Schneeberger, Georg Steiner, and Martin Mergili
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 2461–2483,Short summary
The Köfels rockslide in the Ötztal Valley (Austria) represents the largest known extremely rapid rockslide in metamorphic rock masses in the Alps and was formed in the early Holocene. Although many hypotheses for the conditioning and triggering factors were discussed in the past, until now no scientifically accepted explanatory model has been found. This study provides new data and numerical modelling results to better understand the cause and triggering factors of this gigantic natural event.
Judith Uwihirwe, Markus Hrachowitz, and Thom Bogaard
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for NHESSShort summary
This research tested the value of regional groundwater level information to improve landslide predictions with empirical models based on the concept of threshold levels. In contrast to precipitation based thresholds, the results indicated that relying on threshold models exclusively defined using hydrological variables such as groundwater levels can lead to improved landslide predictions due to their implicit consideration of long-term antecedent conditions until the day of landslide occurrence.
Nan Wang, Luigi Lombardo, Marj Tonini, Weiming Cheng, Liang Guo, and Junnan Xiong
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 2109–2124,Short summary
This study exploits 66 years of flash flood disasters across China. The conclusions are as follows. The clustering procedure highlights distinct spatial and temporal patterns of flash flood disasters at different scales. There are distinguished seasonal, yearly and even long-term persistent flash flood behaviors of flash flood disasters. Finally, the decreased duration of clusters in the recent period indicates a possible activation induced by short-duration extreme rainfall events.
Xun Wang, Marco Otto, and Dieter Scherer
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 2125–2144,Short summary
We applied a high-resolution, gridded atmospheric data set combined with landslide inventories to investigate the atmospheric triggers, define triggering thresholds, and characterize the climatic disposition of landslides in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Our results indicate the crucial role of snowmelt in landslide triggering and prediction in Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, as well as the added value of climatic disposition derived from atmospheric triggering conditions.
Andrea Abbate, Monica Papini, and Laura Longoni
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 2041–2058,Short summary
In this paper the relation between the intensity of meteorological events and the magnitude of triggered geo-hydrological issues was examined. A back analysis was developed across a region of the central Alps. The meteorological triggers were interpreted using two approaches: the first using local rain gauge data and a new one considering meteorological reanalysis maps. The results obtained were compared and elaborated for defining a magnitude of each geo-hydrological event.
Isidro Cantarino, Miguel Angel Carrion, Jose Sergio Palencia-Jimenez, and Víctor Martínez-Ibáñez
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 1847–1866,Short summary
Risk ratio (RR), developed in this paper, stands out as a robust indicator for finding the relationship between residential construction and its associated landslide risk. It proved especially useful for municipalities on the Mediterranean coast, since it differentiates between those that take on a higher risk and those that do not. Our research establishes valuable criteria to find how suitable a specific local entity's risk management is and explore what causes the incidence of landslide risk.
Marta Martinengo, Daniel Zugliani, and Giorgio Rosatti
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 1769–1784,Short summary
Rainfall thresholds are relations between rainfall intensity and duration on which the forecast of the possible occurrence of a debris flow can be based. To check the robustness of a physically based stony debris flow rainfall threshold, in this work we developed a procedure to estimate the effects of various sources of error on the determination of the threshold parameters. Results show that these effects are limited and therefore show the good robustness of the threshold estimate.
Anne-Laure Argentin, Jörg Robl, Günther Prasicek, Stefan Hergarten, Daniel Hölbling, Lorena Abad, and Zahra Dabiri
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 1615–1637,Short summary
This study relies on topography to simulate the origin and displacement of potentially river-blocking landslides. It highlights a continuous range of simulated landslide dams that go unnoticed in the field due to their small scale. The computation results show that landslide-dammed lake volume can be estimated from upstream drainage area and landslide volume, thus enabling an efficient hazard assessment of possible landslide-dammed lake volume – and flooding magnitude in case of dam failure.
Clàudia Abancó, Georgina L. Bennett, Adrian J. Matthews, Mark Anthony M. Matera, and Fibor J. Tan
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 1531–1550,Short summary
In 2018 Typhoon Mangkhut triggered thousands of landslides in the Itogon region (Philippines). An inventory of 1101 landslides revealed that landslides mostly occurred in slopes covered by wooded grassland in clayey materials, predominantly facing E-SE. Satellite rainfall and soil moisture data associated with Typhoon Mangkhut and the previous months in 2018 were analyzed. Results showed that landslides occurred during high-intensity rainfall that coincided with the highest soil moisture values.
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 1467–1471,Short summary
This is a perspective based on personal experience on whether a large number of landslides caused by a single trigger (e.g. an earthquake, an intense rainfall, a rapid snowmelt event) or by multiple triggers in a period can be predicted, in space and time, considering the consequences of slope failures.
Silvan Leinss, Enrico Bernardini, Mylène Jacquemart, and Mikhail Dokukin
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 1409–1429,Short summary
A cluster of 13 large mass flow events including five detachments of entire valley glaciers was observed in the Petra Pervogo range, Tajikistan, in 1973–2019. The local clustering provides additional understanding of the influence of temperature, seismic activity, and geology. Most events occurred in summer of years with mean annual air temperatures higher than the past 46-year trend. The glaciers rest on weak bedrock and are rather short, making them sensitive to friction loss due to meltwater.
Zhu Liang, Changming Wang, Donghe Ma, and Kaleem Ullah Jan Khan
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 1247–1262,Short summary
In previous studies of landslide susceptibility mapping, one inventory is for one kind of landslide. However, this causes some problems for prevention and management. This study aims to map two kinds of landslides and use the results on the same map to explore the potential relationship. Through superimposition of two zoning maps, this provides a new way to evaluate the disaster chain and provides a valuable reference for land use planners.
Adeline Delonca, Yann Gunzburger, and Thierry Verdel
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 1263–1278,Short summary
Rockfalls are a major sources of danger, particularly along transportation routes. Thus, the assessment of their occurrence is a major challenge for risk management. One interesting factor involved in the occurrence of an event is the failure mechanism of rock bridges along the potential failure plane. This work proposes to study the phenomenology of this failure considering numerical modelling. The influence of rock bridge position in regard to the rockfall failure mode is highlighted.
Richard Guthrie and Andrew Befus
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 1029–1049,Short summary
In order to address a need for a debris flow or debris avalanche model that can be applied regionally with relatively few inputs, we developed and present herein an agent-based landslide-simulation model called DebrisFlow Predictor. DebrisFlow Predictor is a fully predictive, probabilistic debris flow runout model. It produces realistic results and can be applied easily to entire regions. We hope that the model will provide useful insight into hazard and risk assessments where it is applicable.
Mylène Jacquemart and Kristy Tiampo
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 629–642,Short summary
We used interferometric radar coherence – a data quality indicator typically used to assess the reliability of radar interferometry data – to document the destabilization of the Mud Creek landslide in California, 5 months prior to its catastrophic failure. We calculated a time series of coherence on the slide relative to the surrounding hillslope and suggest that this easy-to-compute metric might be useful for assessing the stability of a hillslope.
Zongxing Zou, Huiming Tang, Robert E. Criss, Xinli Hu, Chengren Xiong, Qiong Wu, and Yi Yuan
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 517–532,Short summary
The evolutionary trend of deforming landslides and feasible treatments for huge reservoir landslides needs further study. A geomechanical model is presented to elucidate the deformation mechanism of reservoir landslides. The deformation process of Shuping landslide is well interpreted by the geomechanical model. A successful engineering treatment is applied in treating the Shuping landslide, providing references for treating other huge landslides in the Three Gorges Reservoir area.
Sansar Raj Meena, Florian Albrecht, Daniel Hölbling, Omid Ghorbanzadeh, and Thomas Blaschke
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 301–316,Short summary
Comprehensive and sustainable landslide management, including identification of landslide-susceptible areas, requires a lot of organisations and people to collaborate efficiently. In this study, we propose a concept for a system that provides users with a platform to share the location of landslide events for further collaboration in Nepal. The system can be beneficial for specifying potentially risky regions and consequently, the development of risk mitigation strategies at the local level.
Séverine Bernardie, Rosalie Vandromme, Yannick Thiery, Thomas Houet, Marine Grémont, Florian Masson, Gilles Grandjean, and Isabelle Bouroullec
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 147–169,Short summary
The present study evaluates the impacts of land use and climate change, based on scenarios, on landslide hazards in a Pyrenean valley from the present to 2100. The results demonstrate the influence of land cover on slope stability through the presence and type of forest. Climate change may have a significant impact because of the increase of the soil water content. The results indicate that the occurrence of landslide hazards in the future is expected to increase.
Lorenzo Marchi, Federico Cazorzi, Massimo Arattano, Sara Cucchiaro, Marco Cavalli, and Stefano Crema
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 21, 87–97,Short summary
Debris-flow research requires experimental data that are difficult to collect because of the intrinsic characteristics of these hazardous processes. This paper presents debris-flow data recorded in the Moscardo Torrent (Italian Alps) between 1990 and 2019. In this time interval, 30 debris flows were observed. The paper presents data on triggering rainfall, flow velocity, peak discharge, and volume for the monitored hydrographs.
Andreas Schimmel, Velio Coviello, and Francesco Comiti
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss.,
Revised manuscript accepted for NHESSShort summary
The estimation of debris-flow velocity and volume is a fundamental task for the development of early warning systems and other mitigation measures. This work provide a first approach for estimating the velocity and the total volume of debris flows based on the seismic signal detected with simple, low-cost geophones installed along the debris-flow channel. The developed methods was applied to seismic data collected on three test sites in the Alps: Gadria (IT), Lattenbach (AT), and Cancia (IT).
J. Bastian Dost, Oliver Gronz, Markus C. Casper, and Andreas Krein
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 3501–3519,Short summary
We show the potential to observe the unconfined internal-motion behaviour of single clasts in landslides using a wireless sensor measuring acceleration and rotation. The probe's dimensions are 10 mm × 55 mm. It measures up to 16 g and 2000° s−1 with a 100 Hz sampling rate. From the data, we derive transport mode, velocity, displacement and 3D trajectories of several probes. Results are verified by high-speed image analysis and laser distance measurements.
Gioachino Roberti, Jacob McGregor, Sharon Lam, David Bigelow, Blake Boyko, Chris Ahern, Victoria Wang, Bryan Barnhart, Clinton Smyth, David Poole, and Stephen Richard
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 3455–3483,Short summary
We show how INSPIRE, the European initiative to standardize data across borders, can be used to produce explainable AI-based applications. We do so by producing landslide susceptibility maps for the Veneto region in Italy. EU countries are mandated by law to implement the INSPIRE data framework by 2021, but they are aligning and serving INSPIRE data at a slow pace. Our paper can provide a boost to INSPIRE implementation as it shows the value of standardized data.
Robert Emberson, Dalia Kirschbaum, and Thomas Stanley
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 3413–3424,Short summary
Landslides cause thousands of fatalities and cost billions of dollars of damage worldwide every year, but different inventories of landslide events can have widely diverging completeness. This can lead to spatial biases in our understanding of the impacts. Here we use a globally homogeneous model of landslide hazard and exposure to provide consistent estimates of where landslides are most likely to cause damage to people, roads and other critical infrastructure at 1 km resolution.
Thierry Oppikofer, Reginald L. Hermanns, Vegard U. Jakobsen, Martina Böhme, Pierrick Nicolet, and Ivanna Penna
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 3179–3196,Short summary
Damming of rivers is an important secondary effect of landslides due to upstream flooding and possible outburst floods in case of dam failure. For preliminary regional hazard and risk assessment of dams formed by rock slope failures in Norway, we developed semi-empirical relationships to assess the height and stability of dams based on an inventory of 69 dams formed by rock slope failures in southwestern Norway and published landslide dam inventories from other parts of the world.
Wentao Yang, Lianyou Liu, and Peijun Shi
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 3215–3224,Short summary
We analysed deformation of a moving slope along the Jinsha River from November 2015 to November 2019. The slope is 80 km downstream from the famous Baige landslide, which caused two mega floods affecting downstream communities. This slope was relatively stable for the first 3 years (2015–2018) but moved significantly in the last year (2018–2019). The deformation is linked to seasonal precipitation. If this slope continues to slide downwards, it may have similar impacts to the Baige landslide.
Katy Burrows, Richard J. Walters, David Milledge, and Alexander L. Densmore
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 3197–3214,Short summary
Satellite radar could provide information on landslide locations within days of an earthquake or rainfall event anywhere on Earth, but until now there has been a lack of systematic testing of possible radar methods, and most methods have been demonstrated using a single case study event and data from a single satellite sensor. Here we test five methods on four events, demonstrating their wide applicability and making recommendations on when different methods should be applied in the future.
Elisa Bozzolan, Elizabeth Holcombe, Francesca Pianosi, and Thorsten Wagener
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 3161–3177,Short summary
We include informal housing in slope stability analysis, considering different slope properties and precipitation events (including climate change). The dominant failure processes are identified, and their relative role in slope failure is quantified. A new rainfall threshold is assessed for urbanised slopes. Instability
rulesare provided to recognise urbanised slopes most at risk. The methodology is suitable for regions with scarce field measurements and landslide inventories.
Wen Zhang, Jia Wang, Peihua Xu, Junqing Lou, Bo Shan, Fengyan Wang, Chen Cao, Xiaoxue Chen, and Jinsheng Que
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 2921–2935,Short summary
Slope failure is extremely common in mountainous areas. Therefore, the stability and potential failure of slopes must be analysed accurately. For most fractured rock slopes, the aforementioned analyses are considerably challenging. This study aims to propose a comprehensive approach that combines three well-established methods to conduct the aformentioned analyses. Finally, the critical slip surface, factor of safety, and accumulation distance are selected for safety assurance in slope analysis.
Elena Leonarduzzi and Peter Molnar
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 2905–2919,Short summary
Landslides are a natural hazard that affects alpine regions. Here we focus on rainfall-induced shallow landslides and one of the most widely used approaches for their predictions: rainfall thresholds. We design several comparisons utilizing a landslide database and rainfall records in Switzerland. We find that using daily rather than hourly rainfall might be a better option in some circumstances, and mean annual precipitation and antecedent wetness can improve predictions at the regional scale.
Baoqin Lian, Xingang Wang, Jianbing Peng, and Qiangbing Huang
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 2843–2856,
Qin Chen, Lixia Chen, Lei Gui, Kunlong Yin, Dhruba Pikha Shrestha, Juan Du, and Xuelian Cao
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 2547–2565,Short summary
Previous studies have focused on generalized vulnerability assessment from landslides or other types of slope failures, such as debris flow and rockfall. The proposed study establishes a three-step approach to investigate the physical vulnerability of buildings affected by slow-moving landslides. Herein, good consistency between the estimated building physical vulnerability and in-field damage evidence was found.
Marcelo A. Somos-Valenzuela, Joaquín E. Oyarzún-Ulloa, Ivo J. Fustos-Toribio, Natalia Garrido-Urzua, and Ningsheng Chen
Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 20, 2319–2333,Short summary
This work presents a study of the biggest mudflow event in 20 years in Chilean Patagonia, which resulted from an avalanche in the Cordon Yelcho. We integrate in situ geotechnical tests and numerical modeling to model the Villa Santa Lucía mudflow event. Our results suggest that the initial soil water content is sufficient to transform the landslide and scoured soil into a mudflow. Therefore, knowing the soil characteristics is crucial to evaluating the impact of landslides in the study area.
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Mountainous grassland areas can be severely affected by soil erosion, such as by shallow landslides. With an automated mapping approach we are able to locate shallow-landslide sites on aerial images for 10 different study sites across Swiss mountain regions covering a total of 315 km2. Using a statistical model we identify important explanatory variables for shallow-landslide occurrence for the individual sites as well as across all regions, which highlight slope, aspect and terrain roughness.
Mountainous grassland areas can be severely affected by soil erosion, such as by shallow...