A near-real-time model for estimating probability of road obstruction due to earthquake-triggered landslides

Earthquake Spectra
By: , and 



Coseismic landslides are a major source of transportation disruption in mountainous areas, but few approaches exist for rapidly estimating impacts to road networks. We develop a model that links the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) near-real-time earthquake-triggered landslide hazard model with Open Street Map (OSM) road network data to rapidly estimate segment-level obstruction risk following major earthquake activity worldwide. To train and validate the model, we process OSM data for 15 historical earthquakes and calculate the average segment-level landslide hazard from the USGS model for each event. We then fit a multivariate adaptive regression spline model for the probability of road obstruction as a function of road segment length and landslide hazard, using a training and validation dataset derived from the intersections of road networks with earthquake-triggered landslide inventories. The resulting probabilistic model is well calibrated across a range of earthquake events, with estimated obstruction probabilities matching the relative frequency of potential road obstructions. The model runs quickly and is capable of producing road segment-level obstruction estimates within minutes to hours of a major earthquake. However, in near-real-time application, the accuracy of the obstruction estimates will be dependent on the quality of the ShakeMap shaking estimates, which often improves with time as more information becomes available after the earthquake. By providing a rapid first-order translation of landslide hazard into potential infrastructure impacts, this model helps provide emergency responders with tangible information on initial areas of concern.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title A near-real-time model for estimating probability of road obstruction due to earthquake-triggered landslides
Series title Earthquake Spectra
DOI 10.1177/87552930211020022
Volume 37
Issue 4
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher Earthquake Engineering Research Institute
Contributing office(s) Geologic Hazards Science Center
Description 19 p.
First page 2400
Last page 2418
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