Assessment of socioeconomic vulnerability to landslides using an indicator-based approach: methodology and case studies

  • U. M. K. Eidsvig
  • A. McLean
  • B. V. Vangelsten
  • B. Kalsnes
  • R. L. Ciurean
  • S. Argyroudis
  • M. G. Winter
  • O. C. Mavrouli
  • S. Fotopoulou
  • K. Pitilakis
  • A. Baills
  • J.-P. Malet
  • G. Kaiser
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s10064-014-0571-2

Cite this article as:
Eidsvig, U.M.K., McLean, A., Vangelsten, B.V. et al. Bull Eng Geol Environ (2014) 73: 307. doi:10.1007/s10064-014-0571-2

Abstract

The severity of the impact of a natural hazard on a society depends on, among other factors, the intensity of the hazard and the exposure and resistance ability of the elements at risk (e.g., persons, buildings and infrastructures). Social conditions strongly influence the vulnerability factors for both direct and indirect impact and therefore control the possibility to transform the occurrence of a natural hazard into a natural disaster. This article presents a model to assess the relative socioeconomic vulnerability to landslides at the local to regional scale. The model applies an indicator-based approach. The indicators represent the underlying factors that influence a community’s ability to prepare for, deal with, and recover from the damage and loss associated with landslides. The proposed model includes indicators that characterize the demographic, social and economic setting as well as indicators representing the degree of preparedness, effectiveness of the response and capacity to recover. Although this model focuses primarily on the indirect losses, it could easily be extended to include physical indicators accounting for the direct losses. Each indicator is individually ranked from 1 (lowest vulnerability) to 5 (highest vulnerability) and weighted, based on its overall degree of influence. The final vulnerability estimate is formulated as a weighted average of the individual indicator scores. The proposed model is applied for six case studies in Europe. The case studies demonstrate that the method gives a reasonable ranking of the vulnerability. The practical experience achieved through the case studies shows that the model is straightforward for users with knowledge on landslide locations and with access to local census data.

Keywords

Socioeconomic vulnerability Indicator-based vulnerability models Landslide Case study 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • U. M. K. Eidsvig
    • 1
    • 2
  • A. McLean
    • 2
    • 3
  • B. V. Vangelsten
    • 1
    • 2
  • B. Kalsnes
    • 1
    • 2
  • R. L. Ciurean
    • 2
    • 9
  • S. Argyroudis
    • 4
  • M. G. Winter
    • 5
  • O. C. Mavrouli
    • 6
  • S. Fotopoulou
    • 4
  • K. Pitilakis
    • 4
  • A. Baills
    • 7
  • J.-P. Malet
    • 8
  • G. Kaiser
    • 1
  1. 1.NGIOsloNorway
  2. 2.ICGOsloNorway
  3. 3.Stanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  4. 4.AUTHThessalonikiGreece
  5. 5.TRLEdinburghUK
  6. 6.UPCBarcelonaSpain
  7. 7.BRGMOrléansFrance
  8. 8.Institut de Physique du Globe de Strasbourg, CNRS UMR 7516University of StrasbourgStrasbourgFrance
  9. 9.University of ViennaViennaAustria

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