, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 159–173 | Cite as

Global landslide and avalanche hotspots

  • Farrokh NadimEmail author
  • Oddvar Kjekstad
  • Pascal Peduzzi
  • Christian Herold
  • Christian Jaedicke
Original Article


Allocating resources for natural hazard risk management has high priority in development banks and international agencies working in developing countries. Global hazard and risk maps for landslides and avalanches were developed to identify the most exposed countries. Based on the global datasets of climate, lithology, earthquake activity, and topography, areas with the highest hazard, or “hotspots”, were identified. The applied model was based on classed values of all input data. The model output is a landslide and avalanche hazard index, which is globally scaled into nine levels. The model results were calibrated and validated in selected areas where good data on slide events exist. The results from the landslide and avalanche hazard model together with global population data were then used as input for the risk assessment. Regions with the highest risk can be found in Colombia, Tajikistan, India, and Nepal where the estimated number of people killed per year per 100 km2 was found to be greater than one. The model made a reasonable prediction of the landslide hazard in 240 of 249 countries. More and better input data could improve the model further. Future work will focus on selected areas to study the applicability of the model on national and regional scales.


Landslides Avalanches Global analysis Hazard Risk assessment 



This paper is based on a study conducted under the ProVention Consortium initiative on Natural Disaster Hotspots. The overall study is published by the World Bank in two volumes. The first volume, Natural Disaster Risk Hotspots: A Global Risk Analysis (Dilley et al. 2005), presents the global findings. Volume 2, which presents a number of case studies (including this one on landslide risk) is forthcoming. The study was initiated by the World Bank's Hazard Management Unit (HMU), headed by Margaret Arnold, under the umbrella of the ProVention Consortium. The study was conducted as part of the ProVention activity on Natural Disaster Hotspots: A Global Risk Analysis. A major part of the funding was provided by the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID) and The Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Margaret Arnold's support and encouragement throughout the work are gratefully appreciated. The support of Christopher Pusch of the World Bank for the landslide hazard study in Armenia is also gratefully acknowledged. The authors acknowledge close cooperation with Columbia University, especially Robert Chen and Max Dilley. A number of NGI personnel participated actively in the project, among them Ulrik Domaas, Ramez Rafat and Frode Sandersen. The authors are grateful to these individuals for their active participation and support.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Farrokh Nadim
    • 1
    Email author
  • Oddvar Kjekstad
    • 1
  • Pascal Peduzzi
    • 2
  • Christian Herold
    • 2
  • Christian Jaedicke
    • 1
  1. 1.Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, International Centre for GeohazardsOsloNorway
  2. 2.UNEP/DEWA/GRID-EuropeChâtelaineSwitzerland

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