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Bulletin of Engineering Geology and the Environment

, Volume 78, Issue 8, pp 5811–5826 | Cite as

Landslide susceptibility mapping: a practitioner’s view

  • G. J. HearnEmail author
  • A. B. Hart
Original Paper

Abstract

Reichenbach et al. (Earth Sci Rev 180:60–91, 2018) provide an extremely valuable review of statistically-based landslide susceptibility modelling and mapping techniques. In their analysis, they describe an excessive interest in statistical experimentation, seemingly at the expense of focusing on developing reliable and useable outputs. Landslide susceptibility mapping has flourished in research circles, but has yet to become widely embraced by land use planners and those responsible for the site selection and route selection of engineering infrastructure. If landslide susceptibility mapping is to become recognised as a credible tool by planning and engineering practitioners, it requires robust and universally-applied guidelines, a focus on geological and geomorphological observation, and demonstrable reliability and usability. Short case histories are provided to illustrate some of the issues concerned, how they have been overcome in an applied sense, and some of the problems that still remain to be resolved. Recommendations are provided for a step-by-step approach to landslide susceptibility mapping, that emphasise the need to: (1) become fully-familiar with the terrain in the area of interest and the controls on slope stability; (2) derive a credible dataset for spatial analysis, combining desk study and field-derived data sources; (3) test and trial the output mapping; and (4) liaise with the intended map end-user over issues concerning scale, reliability, uncertainty and application constraints.

Keywords

Landslide susceptibility mapping Statistical techniques Heuristic techniques Planning Engineering End-user 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The case studies described in this paper were carried out while the authors were employed at Scott Wilson (now AECOM). The authors would like to thank all those who contributed to these projects, including through field visits, landslide mapping, discussions on methodology, etc., as well as the UK Department for International Development, Sakhalin Energy Investment Co. Ltd. and the Geological Survey Department of Cyprus for the opportunity to carry out this work. The work illustrated from Nepal/Bhutan was undertaken in conjunction with the Department for Local Infrastructure Development and Agricultural Roads in Nepal, the Department of Roads in Bhutan and D. Petley (then at the University of Durham, UK). The work illustrated from Cyprus was undertaken in conjunction with the British Geological Survey. The authors would also like to thank three anonymous reviewers for their comments on a draft of this paper. None of the views expressed in this paper are necessarily those of AECOM, Atkins nor any of the other organisations mentioned in this paper.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hearn Geoserve LtdFerringUK
  2. 2.Atkins LimitedEpsomUK

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