Impact of spatial resolution of digital elevation model on landslide susceptibility mapping: A case study in Kullu valley, Himalayas

Sansar Raj Meena*, Thimmaiah Gudiyangada Nachappa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)
19 Downloads (Pure)


Landslides are one of the most damaging geological hazards in mountainous regions such as the Himalayas. The Himalayan region is, tectonically, the most active region in the world that is highly vulnerable to landslides and associated hazards. Landslide susceptibility mapping (LSM) is a useful tool for understanding the probability of the spatial distribution of future landslide regions. In this research, the landslide inventory datasets were collected during the field study of the Kullu valley in July 2018, and 149 landslide locations were collected as global positioning system (GPS) points. The present study evaluates the LSM using three different spatial resolution of the digital elevation model (DEM) derived from three different sources. The data-driven traditional frequency ratio (FR) model was used for this study. The FR model was used for this research to assess the impact of the different spatial resolution of DEMs on the LSM. DEM data was derived from Advanced Land Observing Satellite-1 (ALOS) Phased Array type L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar (PALSAR) ALOS-PALSAR for 12.5 m, the Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) Global for 30 m, and the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission (SRTM) for 90 m. As an input, we used eight landslide conditioning factors based on the study area and topographic features of the Kullu valley in the Himalayas. The ASTER-Global 30m DEM showed higher accuracy of 0.910 compared to 0.839 for 12.5 m and 0.824 for 90 m DEM resolution. This study shows that that 30 m resolution is better suited for LSM for the Kullu valley region in the Himalayas. The LSM can be used for mitigation and future planning for spatial planners and developmental authorities in the region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number360
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalGeosciences (Switzerland)
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 17 Aug 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Frequency ratio (FR)
  • Landslide susceptibility mapping (LSM)
  • Landslides
  • Natural hazards
  • SRTM


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