Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 71, Issue 9, pp 3879–3892 | Cite as

Topo-stress based probabilistic model for shallow landslide susceptibility zonation in the Nepal Himalaya

  • Ranjan Kumar DahalEmail author
  • Netra Prakash Bhandary
  • Shuichi Hasegawa
  • Ryuichi Yatabe
Original Article


While dealing with slope stability issues, determining the state of stress and the relation between driving force and resisting force are the fundamental deterministic steps. Gravitational stresses affect geologic processes and engineering operations in slopes. Considering this fact, a concept of topo-stress evaluation is developed in this research and used to produce a shallow landslide susceptibility map in a model area. The topo-stress introduced in this research refers to the shear stress induced by the gravitational forces on the planes parallel to the ground surface. Weight of the material on a slope and friction angle of the jointed rock mass are the two fundamental parameters that are considered to govern topo-stress in this study. Considering topo-stress as a main factor for initiating shallow landslides, a GIS-based probabilistic model is developed for shallow landslide susceptibility zonation. An ideal terrain in central Nepal is selected as the study area for this purpose. Two event-based shallow landslide inventories are used to predict accuracy of the model, which is found to be more than 78 % for the first event-landslides and more than 76 % for the second event-landslides. It is evident from these prediction rates that the probabilistic topo-stress model proposed in this work is quite acceptable when regional scale shallow landslide susceptibility mapping is practiced, such as in the Himalayan rocky slopes.


Topo-stress Probabilistic model Shallow landslide suceptibility Nepal Himalaya 



The study was funded by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS). The authors wish to thank Dr. Manita Timilsina and Mr. Anjan Kumar Dahal for their technical supports.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ranjan Kumar Dahal
    • 1
    Email author
  • Netra Prakash Bhandary
    • 2
  • Shuichi Hasegawa
    • 3
  • Ryuichi Yatabe
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Geology, Tri-Chandra CampusTribhvuan UniversityKathmanduNepal
  2. 2.Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Graduate School of Science and EngineeringEhime UniversityMatsuyamaJapan
  3. 3.Department of Safety Systems Construction Engineering, Faculty of EngineeringKagawa UniversityTakamatsu CityJapan

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