Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2021-250
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2021-250

  02 Sep 2021

02 Sep 2021

Review status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Insights from the topographic characteristics of a large global catalog of rainfall-induced landslide event inventories

Robert Emberson1,2,3, Dalia Kirschbaum1, Pukar Amatya1,2,3, Hakan Tanyas4, and Odin Marc5 Robert Emberson et al.
  • 1NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Hydrological Sciences Laboratory, United States of America
  • 2Universities Space Research Association, Columbia, MD, USA
  • 3Goddard Earth Sciences Technology and Research, Columbia, MD, USA
  • 4ITC, University of Twente, Netherlands
  • 5Géosciences Environnement Toulouse (GET), UMR 5563, CNRS/IRD/CNES/UPS,Observatoire Midi-Pyrénées, Toulouse, France

Abstract. Landslides are a key hazard in high-relief areas around the world and pose a risk to population and infrastructure. It is important to understand where landslides are likely to occur in the landscape to inform local analyses of exposure and potential impacts. Large triggering events such as earthquakes or major rain storms often cause hundreds or thousands of landslides, and mapping the landslide populations generated by these events can provide extensive datasets of landslide locations. Previous work has explored the characteristic locations of landslides triggered by seismic shaking, but rainfall induced landslides are likely to occur in different parts of a given landscape when compared to seismically induced failures. Here we show measurements of a range of topographic parameters associated with rainfall-induced landslides inventories, including a number of previously unpublished inventories which we also present here. We find that average upstream angle and compound topographic index are strong predictors of landslide headscarp location, while local relief and topographic position index provide a stronger sense of where landslide material may end up (and thus where hazard may be highest). By providing a large compilation of inventory data for open use by the landslide community, we suggest that this work could be useful for other regional and global landslide modelling studies and local calibration of landslide susceptibility assessment, as well as hazard mitigation studies.

Robert Emberson et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)

Comment types: AC – author | RC – referee | CC – community | EC – editor | CEC – chief editor | : Report abuse
  • CC1: 'Comment on nhess-2021-250', jie ming, 08 Sep 2021
  • RC1: 'Comment on nhess-2021-250', Alexander Densmore, 27 Sep 2021
  • RC2: 'Comment on nhess-2021-250', Anonymous Referee #2, 30 Sep 2021
  • CC2: 'Comment on nhess-2021-250', Dave Milledge, 12 Oct 2021

Robert Emberson et al.

Robert Emberson et al.

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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 analyse the topographic characteristics of the landslides, finding consistent relationships for landslide source and deposition areas, despite differences in the inventories locations.
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