Articles | Volume 9, issue 6
15 Dec 2009
 | 15 Dec 2009

Towards a definition of a real-time forecasting network for rainfall induced shallow landslides

S. Segoni, L. Leoni, A. I. Benedetti, F. Catani, G. Righini, G. Falorni, S. Gabellani, R. Rudari, F. Silvestro, and N. Rebora

Abstract. PREVIEW is an European Commission FP6 Integrated Project with the aim of developing, at an European level, innovative geo-information services for atmospheric, geophysical and man-made risks. Within this framework, the Landslides Platform Service 2 (forecasting of shallow rapid slope movements) has developed an integrated procedure for the forecasting and warning of distributed shallow landsliding to be used for civil protection purposes.

The Service consists of an automated end-to-end forecasting chain which uses data from a probabilistic downscaled short-term rainfall forecast, soil saturation estimates and meteorological radar outputs. The above data are entered into a hydro-geological model that makes use of an infinite slope approach to calculate the distributed Factor of Safety over the entire basin. All outputs, and much of the input data, are shown on a WebGIS system so that end-users can interactively access and download data. A distinctive feature of the service is the use of an innovative soil depth model for predicting the distributed thickness of the regolith cover within the basin, which is one of the most important parameters controlling shallow landslide triggering.

The service was developed in a pilot test site in NE Italy, the Armea basin. Validation makes use of two rainfall events: one that occurred in 2000 and a smaller, more recent event (2006) that caused fewer landslides. Rainfall data have been used to compute a distributed factor-of-safety map that has been overlaid onto the landslide inventory. Instead of a traditional validation approach based on the number count of correctly identified landslides, we carried out an alternative procedure based on the landslides area that gave outcomes which, for this preliminary stage of the research, can be considered promising.