Rapid mapping of landslides in the Western Ghats (India) triggered by 2018 extreme monsoon rainfall using a deep learning approach

Sansar Raj Meena*, Omid Ghorbanzadeh, C.J. van Westen, Thimmaiah Gudiyangada Nachappa, Thomas Blaschke, Ramesh P. Singh, Raju Sarkar

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)
138 Downloads (Pure)


Rainfall-induced landslide inventories can be compiled using remote sensing and topographical data, gathered using either traditional or semi-automatic supervised methods. In this study, we used the PlanetScope imagery and deep learning convolution neural networks (CNNs) to map the 2018 rainfall-induced landslides in the Kodagu district of Karnataka state in the Western Ghats of India. We used a fourfold cross-validation (CV) to select the training and testing data to remove any random results of the model. Topographic slope data was used as auxiliary information to increase the performance of the model. The resulting landslide inventory map, created using the slope data with the spectral information, reduces the false positives, which helps to distinguish the landslide areas from other similar features such as barren lands and riverbeds. However, while including the slope data did not increase the true positives, the overall accuracy was higher compared to using only spectral information to train the model. The mean accuracies of correctly classified landslide values were 65.5% when using only optical data, which increased to 78% with the use of slope data. The methodology presented in this research can be applied in other landslide-prone regions, and the results can be used to support hazard mitigation in landslide-prone regions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1937-1950
Number of pages14
Issue number5
Early online date5 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - May 2021




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