We used historical records of damaging landslides triggered by rainstorms and a newly developed Probabilistic Landslide Assessment Cost Estimation System (PLACES) to estimate the numbers and direct costs of future landslides in the 10-county San Francisco Bay region. Historical records of damaging landslides in the region are incomplete. Therefore, our estimates of numbers and costs of future landslides are minimal estimates. The estimated mean annual number of future damaging landslides for the entire 10-county region is about 65. Santa Cruz County has the highest estimated mean annual number of damaging future landslides (about 18), whereas Napa, San Francisco, and Solano Counties have the lowest estimated mean numbers of damaging landslides (about 1 each). The estimated mean annual cost of future landslides in the entire region is about US $14.80 million (year 2000 $). The estimated mean annual cost is highest for San Mateo County ($3.24 million) and lowest for Solano County ($0.18 million). The annual per capita cost for the entire region will be about $2.10. Santa Cruz County will have the highest annual per capita cost at $8.45, whereas San Francisco County will have the lowest per capita cost at $0.31. Normalising costs by dividing by the percentage of land area with slopes equal to or greater than 17% indicates that San Francisco County will have the highest cost per square km ($7,101), whereas Santa Clara County will have the lowest cost per square km ($229). These results indicate that the San Francisco Bay region has one of the highest levels of landslide risk in the United States. Compared with landslide cost estimates from the rest of the world, the risk level in the Bay region seems high, but not exceptionally high.
Additional publication details
Probabilistic estimation of numbers and costs of future landslides in the San Francisco Bay region