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Definition and performance of a threshold-based regional early warning model for rainfall-induced landslides

Abstract

A process chain for the definition and the performance assessment of an operational regional warning model for rainfall-induced landslides, based on rainfall thresholds, is proposed and tested in a landslide-prone area in the Campania region, southern Italy. A database of 96 shallow landslides triggered by rainfall in the period 2003–2010 and rainfall data gathered from 58 rain gauges are used. First, a set of rainfall threshold equations are defined applying a well-known frequentist method to all the reconstructed rainfall conditions responsible for the documented landslides in the area of analysis. Several thresholds at different exceedance probabilities (percentiles) are evaluated, and nine different percentile combinations are selected for the activation of three warning levels. Subsequently, for each combination, the issuing of warning levels is computed by comparing, over time, the measured rainfall with the pre-defined warning level thresholds. Finally, the optimal percentile combination to be employed in the regional early warning system, i.e. the one providing the best model performance in terms of success and error indicators, is selected employing the “event, duration matrix, performance” (EDuMaP) method.

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Acknowledgments

This work was financially supported by the PhD programme of the Civil Engineering Department of the University of Salerno, for LP, and by a grant from the Italian National Department for Civil Protection, for SLG and MM. G. Iovine and O. Terranova (CNR IRPI), and G. Pecoraro (University of Salerno) contributed to find information on landslide occurrences. We are grateful to the Regional Functional Centre of Civil Protection of Campania for providing rainfall data and to the fire brigades of Avellino, Benevento, Caserta, Napoli and Salerno for providing information on landslide occurrences. We thank the two anonymous reviewers for their criticisms and comments that have helped us to improve the paper.

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Correspondence to Stefano Luigi Gariano.

Appendix

Appendix

Table 9 Variables and acronyms used in text

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Piciullo, L., Gariano, S.L., Melillo, M. et al. Definition and performance of a threshold-based regional early warning model for rainfall-induced landslides. Landslides 14, 995–1008 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10346-016-0750-2

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Keywords

  • Early warning system
  • Shallow landslide
  • Rainfall threshold
  • EDuMaP method
  • Campania