Journal cover Journal topic
Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhessd-3-5677-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
24 Sep 2015
Review status
This discussion paper has been under review for the journal Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences (NHESS). The revised manuscript was not accepted.
Integrated statistical modelling of spatial landslide probability
M. Mergili1,2 and H.-J. Chu3 1Geomorphological Systems and Risk Research, Department of Geography and Regional Research, University of Vienna, Universitätsstraße 7, 1190 Vienna, Austria
2Institute of Applied Geology, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU), Peter-Jordan-Straße 70, 1190 Vienna, Austria
3Department of Geomatics, National Cheng Kung University, 1 University Road, 701 Tainan, Taiwan
Abstract. Statistical methods are commonly employed to estimate spatial probabilities of landslide release at the catchment or regional scale. Travel distances and impact areas are often computed by means of conceptual mass point models. The present work introduces a fully automated procedure extending and combining both concepts to compute an integrated spatial landslide probability: (i) the landslide inventory is subset into release and deposition zones. (ii) We employ a simple statistical approach to estimate the pixel-based landslide release probability. (iii) We use the cumulative probability density function of the angle of reach of the observed landslide pixels to assign an impact probability to each pixel. (iv) We introduce the zonal probability i.e. the spatial probability that at least one landslide pixel occurs within a zone of defined size. We quantify this relationship by a set of empirical curves. (v) The integrated spatial landslide probability is defined as the maximum of the release probability and the product of the impact probability and the zonal release probability relevant for each pixel. We demonstrate the approach with a 637 km2 study area in southern Taiwan, using an inventory of 1399 landslides triggered by the typhoon Morakot in 2009. We observe that (i) the average integrated spatial landslide probability over the entire study area corresponds reasonably well to the fraction of the observed landside area; (ii) the model performs moderately well in predicting the observed spatial landslide distribution; (iii) the size of the release zone (or any other zone of spatial aggregation) influences the integrated spatial landslide probability to a much higher degree than the pixel-based release probability; (iv) removing the largest landslides from the analysis leads to an enhanced model performance.

Citation: Mergili, M. and Chu, H.-J.: Integrated statistical modelling of spatial landslide probability, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., 3, 5677-5715, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhessd-3-5677-2015, 2015.
M. Mergili and H.-J. Chu
M. Mergili and H.-J. Chu
M. Mergili and H.-J. Chu

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Short summary
We propose a procedure to compute an integrated spatial landslide probability, combining release and propagation. The zonal release probability is introduced to correct the pixel-based release probability for the size of the release zone relevant for a pixel. For a test area in Taiwan we observe that the model performs moderately well in predicting the observed landslides and that the size of the release zone influences the result to a much higher degree than the pixel-based release probability.
We propose a procedure to compute an integrated spatial landslide probability, combining release...
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