Environmental Geology

, Volume 55, Issue 2, pp 441–452 | Cite as

Susceptibility analysis for slides and rockfall: an example from the Northern Calcareous Alps (Vorarlberg, Austria)

  • Michael RuffEmail author
  • Joachim Rohn
Original Article


In this paper a tool for semi-quantitative susceptibility assessment at a regional scale is presented which is applicable at areas with complex geological setting. At a study area within the Northern Calcareous Alps geotechnical mappings were implemented into a Geographical Information System and analysed as grid data with a cell size of 25 m. The susceptibility to sliding and falling processes was considered according to five classes (very low, low, medium, high, very high). Susceptibility to sliding was analysed using an index method. The layers of lithology, bedding conditions, tectonic faults, slope angle, slope aspect, vegetation and erosion were combined iteratively. Dropout zones of rockfall material were determined with help of a Digital Elevation Model. The movement of rolling rock samples was modelled by a cost analysis of all potential rockfall trajectories. These trajectories were also divided into five susceptibility classes. The susceptibility maps are presented in a general way to be used by communities and spatial planners. Conflict areas of susceptibility and landuse were located and can be presented destinctively.


Susceptibility Landslides Rockfall GIS Northern Calcareous Alps Vorarlberg Austria 



The studies were financed by the Federal Government of Vorarlberg and the INATURA Museum Dornbirn. Special thanks go to the field workers Nadine Hawelka, Georg Hils, Christian Schanz and Marcel Fulde. Furthermore we would like to thank the Federal Surveying Office of Austria (BEV) for providing the data.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Ingenieure Bart AGSt GallenSwitzerland
  2. 2.Department of Applied Geology (AGK)University of Karlsruhe (TH)KarlsruheGermany
  3. 3.Department of Applied GeologyUniversity of Erlangen-NürnbergErlangenGermany

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