Plenary: Progress in Regional Landslide Hazard Assessment—Examples from the USA

By: , and 



Landslide hazard assessment at local and regional scales contributes to mitigation of landslides in developing and densely populated areas by providing information for (1) land development and redevelopment plans and regulations, (2) emergency preparedness plans, and (3) economic analysis to (a) set priorities for engineered mitigation projects and (b) define areas of similar levels of hazard for insurance purposes. US Geological Survey (USGS) research on landslide hazard assessment has explored a range of methods that can be used to estimate temporal and spatial landslide potential and probability for various scales and purposes. Cases taken primarily from our work in the U.S. Pacific Northwest illustrate and compare a sampling of methods, approaches, and progress. For example, landform mapping using high-resolution topographic data resulted in identification of about four times more landslides in Seattle, Washington, than previous efforts using aerial photography. Susceptibility classes based on the landforms captured 93 % of all historical landslides (all types) throughout the city. A deterministic model for rainfall infiltration and shallow landslide initiation, TRIGRS, was able to identify locations of 92 % of historical shallow landslides in southwest Seattle. The potentially unstable areas identified by TRIGRS occupied only 26 % of the slope areas steeper than 20°. Addition of an unsaturated infiltration model to TRIGRS expands the applicability of the model to areas of highly permeable soils. Replacement of the single cell, 1D factor of safety with a simple 3D method of columns improves accuracy of factor of safety predictions for both saturated and unsaturated infiltration models. A 3D deterministic model for large, deep landslides, SCOOPS, combined with a three-dimensional model for groundwater flow, successfully predicted instability in steep areas of permeable outwash sand and topographic reentrants. These locations are consistent with locations of large, deep, historically active landslides. For an area in Seattle, a composite of the three maps illustrates how maps produced by different approaches might be combined to assess overall landslide potential. Examples from Oregon, USA, illustrate how landform mapping and deterministic analysis for shallow landslide potential have been adapted into standardized methods for efficiently producing detailed landslide inventory and shallow landslide susceptibility maps that have consistent content and format statewide.

Additional publication details

Publication type Conference Paper
Publication Subtype Conference Paper
Title Plenary: Progress in Regional Landslide Hazard Assessment—Examples from the USA
DOI 10.1007/978-3-319-04999-1_2
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher Springer
Contributing office(s) Geologic Hazards Science Center
Description 16 p.
Larger Work Type Book
Larger Work Subtype Conference publication
Larger Work Title Landslide science for a safer geoenvironment
First page 21
Last page 36