Articles | Volume 9, issue 4
28 Aug 2009
 | 28 Aug 2009

On the influence of temporal change on the validity of landslide susceptibility maps

K. Meusburger and C. Alewell

Abstract. The consideration of non-stationary landslide causal factors in statistical landslide susceptibility assessments is still problematic. The latter may lead to erroneous model predictions, especially in times of dramatic environmental change. In this case study in the Central Swiss Alps, we aim to evaluate the effect of dynamic change of landslide causal factors on the validity of landslide susceptibility maps. Logistic regression models were produced for two points in time, 1959 and 2000. Both models could correctly classify >70% of the independent spatial validation dataset. By subtracting the 1959 susceptibility map from the 2000 susceptibility map a deviation susceptibility map was obtained. Our interpretation was that these susceptibility deviations indicate the effect of the change of dynamic causal factors on the landslide probability. The deviation map explained 85% of new landslides occurring after 2000. We believe it to be a suitable tool to add a time element to the susceptibility map pointing to areas with changing susceptibility due to recently changing environmental conditions.