Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 60, Issue 5, pp 1037–1054 | Cite as

Delineation of landslide hazard areas on Penang Island, Malaysia, by using frequency ratio, logistic regression, and artificial neural network models

  • Biswajeet Pradhan
  • Saro Lee
Original Article


This paper summarizes findings of landslide hazard analysis on Penang Island, Malaysia, using frequency ratio, logistic regression, and artificial neural network models with the aid of GIS tools and remote sensing data. Landslide locations were identified and an inventory map was constructed by trained geomorphologists using photo-interpretation from archived aerial photographs supported by field surveys. A SPOT 5 satellite pan sharpened image acquired in January 2005 was used for land-cover classification supported by a topographic map. The above digitally processed images were subsequently combined in a GIS with ancillary data, for example topographical (slope, aspect, curvature, drainage), geological (litho types and lineaments), soil types, and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data, and used to construct a spatial database using GIS and image processing. Three landslide hazard maps were constructed on the basis of landslide inventories and thematic layers, using frequency ratio, logistic regression, and artificial neural network models. Further, each thematic layer’s weight was determined by the back-propagation training method and landslide hazard indices were calculated using the trained back-propagation weights. The results of the analysis were verified and compared using the landslide location data and the accuracy observed was 86.41, 89.59, and 83.55% for frequency ratio, logistic regression, and artificial neural network models, respectively. On the basis of the higher percentages of landslide bodies predicted in very highly hazardous and highly hazardous zones, the results obtained by use of the logistic regression model were slightly more accurate than those from the other models used for landslide hazard analysis. The results from the neural network model suggest the effect of topographic slope is the highest and most important factor with weightage value (1.0), which is more than twice that of the other factors, followed by the NDVI (0.52), and then precipitation (0.42). Further, the results revealed that distance from lineament has the lowest weightage, with a value of 0. This shows that in the study area, fault lines and structural features do not contribute much to landslide triggering.


Landslide Hazard Frequency ratio Logistic regression Artificial neural network GIS Malaysia 



B. Pradhan would like to thank the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation (AvH), Germany for awarding a visiting scientist position and adequate funds to carry out research at Dresden University of Technology, Germany. Thanks are due to anonymous reviewers for their critical and valuable comments that helped to bring the manuscript into the present form.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Forestry, Geo and Hydro-Science, Institute of CartographyDresden University of TechnologyDresdenGermany
  2. 2.Geoscience Information CenterKorea Institute of Geoscience and Mineral Resources (KIGAM)DaejonKorea

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