We model the rainfall-induced initiation of shallow landslides over a broad region using a deterministic approach, the Transient Rainfall Infiltration and Grid-based Slope-stability (TRIGRS) model that couples an infinite-slope stability analysis with a one-dimensional analytical solution for transient pore pressure response to rainfall infiltration. This model permits the evaluation of regional shallow landslide susceptibility in a Geographic Information System framework, and we use it to analyze susceptibility to shallow landslides in an area in the eastern Umbria Region of central Italy. As shown on a landslide inventory map produced by the Italian National Research Council, the area has been affected in the past by shallow landslides, many of which have transformed into debris flows. Input data for the TRIGRS model include time-varying rainfall, topographic slope, colluvial thickness, initial water table depth, and material strength and hydraulic properties. Because of a paucity of input data, we focus on parametric analyses to calibrate and test the model and show the effect of variation in material properties and initial water table conditions on the distribution of simulated instability in the study area in response to realistic rainfall. Comparing the results with the shallow landslide inventory map, we find more than 80% agreement between predicted shallow landslide susceptibility and the inventory, despite the paucity of input data.
Additional publication details
Modeling regional initiation of rainfall-induced shallow landslides in the eastern Umbria Region of central Italy