Environmental Geology

, Volume 51, Issue 1, pp 1–13 | Cite as

Area-scale landslide hazard and risk assessment

  • Roberto W. RomeoEmail author
  • Mario Floris
  • Francesco Veneri
Original Article


The paper deals with a methodology for quantitative landslide hazard and risk assessments over wide-scale areas. The approach was designed to fulfil the following requirements: (1) rapid investigation of large study areas; (2) use of elementary information, in order to satisfy the first requirement and to ensure validation, repetition and real time updating of the assessments every time new data are available; (3) computation of the landslide frequency of occurrence, in order to compare objectively different hazard conditions and to minimize references to qualitative hazard attributes such as activity states. The idea of multi-temporal analysis set forth by Cardinali et al. (Nat Hazards Earth Syst Sci 2:57–72, 2002), has been stressed here to compute average recurrence time for individual landslides and to forecast their behaviour within reference time periods. The method is based on the observation of the landslide activity through aerial-photo surveys carried out in several time steps. The output is given by a landslide hazard map showing the mean return period of landslides reactivation. Assessing the hazard in a quantitative way allows for estimating quantitatively the risk as well; thus, the probability of the exposed elements (such as people and real estates) to suffer damages due to the occurrence of landslides can be calculated. The methodology here presented is illustrated with reference to a sample area in Central Italy (Umbria region), for which both the landslide hazard and risk for the human life are analysed and computed. Results show the powerful quantitative approach for assessing the exposure of human activities to the landslide threat for a best choice of the countermeasures needed to mitigate the risk.


Landslide Activity Hazard Risk Mapping Central Italy 



The research was supported by the local government of the Umbria Region, through the grant N. 20/2002. Authors thank Dr. A Boscherini and his staff (Geological Survey of the Umbria Region) for the useful data and the anonymous reviewers for the valuable suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Roberto W. Romeo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mario Floris
    • 2
  • Francesco Veneri
    • 3
  1. 1.Research Centre on Natural HazardsUniversity of Urbino ‘Carlo Bo’UrbinoItaly
  2. 2.Research Centre on Geologic RisksUniversity of Rome ‘La Sapienza’ValmontoneItaly
  3. 3.Institute of Engineering GeologyUniversity of Urbino ‘Carlo Bo’UrbinoItaly

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