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Rainfall thresholds for landslide occurrence: systematic underestimation using coarse temporal resolution data

  • Francesco Marra
Research Letter

Abstract

Rainfall thresholds for landslides occurrence derived in real applications tend to be lower than the ones one would obtain using exact data. This letter shows how the use of coarse temporal resolution rainfall data causes a systematic overestimation of the duration of the triggering rainfall events that directly contributes to thresholds underestimation. A numerical experiment is devised to quantify this systematic effect for the relevant case of power-law depth/intensity–duration thresholds. In the examined conditions, i.e., the frequentist method at 5% non-exceedance probability level, ~ 70% underestimation of the scale parameter and ~ 60% overestimation of the shape parameter of the thresholds is to be expected using daily resolution rainfall data, but the exact quantification depends on the specific characteristics of each study case. The underestimation increases as the temporal resolution becomes larger than the expected minimal duration of the triggering events. Under operational conditions, sensitivity analyses based on the methods and datasets of interest are advised.

Keywords

Landslides Early warning Rainfall thresholds Systematic underestimation 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The author is grateful to Efrat Morin and the Hydrometeorology Laboratory at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for the support and acknowledges Marco Borga, Stefano Crema, and Efthymios Nikolopoulos for the fruitful discussions on the topic.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declared that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11069_2018_3508_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (305 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 305 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Fredy & Nadine Herrmann Institute of Earth Sciences, Hebrew University of JerusalemJerusalemIsrael

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