Space-Time Landslide Predictive Modelling

L. Lombardo*, Thomas Opitz, Francesca Ardizzone, Fausto Guzzetti, Raphaël Huser

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademic

14 Citations (Scopus)
119 Downloads (Pure)


Landslides are nearly ubiquitous phenomena and pose severe threats to people, properties, and the environment. Investigators have for long attempted to estimate landslide hazard to determine where, when, and how destructive landslides are expected to be in an area. This information is useful to design landslide mitigation strategies, and to reduce landslide risk and societal and economic losses. In the geomorphology literature, most attempts at predicting the occurrence of populations of landslides rely on the observation that landslides are the result of multiple interacting, conditioning and triggering factors. Here, we propose a novel Bayesian modelling framework for the prediction of space-time landslide occurrences of the slide type caused by weather triggers. We consider log-Gaussian cox processes, assuming that individual landslides stem from a point process described by an unknown intensity function. We tested our prediction framework in the Collazzone area, Umbria, Central Italy, for which a detailed multi-temporal landslide inventory spanning 1941-2014 is available together with lithological and bedding data. We tested five models of increasing complexity. Our most complex model includes fixed effects and latent spatio-temporal effects, thus largely fulfilling the common definition of landslide hazard in the literature. We quantified the spatio-temporal predictive skill of our model and found that it performed better than simpler alternatives. We then developed a novel classification strategy and prepared an intensity-susceptibility landslide map, providing more information than traditional susceptibility zonations for land planning and management. We expect our novel approach to lead to better projections of future landslides, and to improve our collective understanding of the evolution of landscapes dominated by mass-wasting processes under geophysical and weather triggers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-68
Number of pages68
Publication statusPublished - 3 Dec 2019


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