Natural Hazards

, Volume 56, Issue 3, pp 749–766 | Cite as

Participatory model assessment of earthquake-induced landslide hazard models

  • Scott B. Miles
Original Paper


The study described in this paper investigates the relative merits of two peer-reviewed earthquake-induced landslide models using participatory model assessment. The earthquake-induced landslide hazard models assessed are a simplified Newmark’s displacement model and a recently developed knowledge-based model. Participatory model assessment involves conducting facilitated participatory processes where the model(s) are used for aiding decisions within a socio-behavioral experiment designed for collecting data to evaluate formal hypotheses about the model(s). The paper sets out the design of the participatory model assessment—a series of workshops involving experts and potential model end-users that incorporated a roleplay site selection task. Quantitative data elicited using a set of entrance and exit questionnaires were analyzed to investigate hypotheses about the models. Participants found the knowledge-based model to be significantly more complete and more informative for their roleplay task. Overall, the two models did not yield significant differences with respect to issues such as task efficiency or task outcome satisfaction. Lastly, it was found that education level and disciplinary perspectives (of those analyzed) did not significantly affect outcomes, suggesting that a wide demographic of participants can be used for participatory model assessments. Additional research is needed to assess the models in different contexts, as well as more broadly developing a set of best practices for conducting participatory model assessments of other natural hazard and risk models intended to support decision-making.


Participatory Assessment Validation Earthquakes Landslides Modeling 



The author would like to thank Timothy Nyerges, David Keefer, Devon Macauley, and Scott Haefner for their help in designing and conducting the participatory model assessment workshop. Timothy Nyerges and David Keefer also provided much appreciated reviews of this manuscript. An additional thanks is owed to the two anonymous reviewers who helped focus the manuscript. All shortcomings and oversights are the responsibility of the author.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Resilience Institute, Huxley College of the EnvironmentWestern Washington UniversityBellinghamUSA

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