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Coupling geoinformation and simulation systems for the early warning of landslides


Recurring disastrous landslides have caused great damages worldwide and many people have been affected during the last decades. Obviously, there is a strong demand for developing and improving early warning systems to save lives and properties. Although numerous researches in the field of early warning systems have been made in the last years, the understanding of the hazard and the forecasting of impending events are still particularly weak points of the early warning chain. In an ongoing research project, a new approach to improve these critical points in the field of early warning systems of landslides is pursued: complex simulations of landslides are coupled with geoinformation systems (GIS). This allows on the one hand for a detailed investigation of instable slopes with the help of the simulation, and on the other hand, for a user-friendly preparation of the complex simulation results in the GIS for decision support. In this paper, the interconnection between a GIS and a simulation system is introduced, and two operational modes of the coupled system are presented: the learning and the decision support system. Another focus will be put on several visualization and analysis methods for the processing of the complex simulation results in a suitable way to support the user in the decision support and in the learning system, respectively.

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The funding of the research project “Development of suitable information systems for early warning systems” by the German Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) under grant no. 03G0645A et al. within the framework of the GEOTECHNOLOGIEN initiative ( is gratefully acknowledged. This is publication no. GEOTECH-1308 of the R&D-Programme GEOTECHNOLOGIEN.

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Correspondence to Eva Nuhn.

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Nuhn, E., Reinhardt, W. Coupling geoinformation and simulation systems for the early warning of landslides. Appl Geomat 3, 101–107 (2011).

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  • Landslides
  • Early warning
  • Decision support system
  • Learning system
  • GIS
  • Finite element analysis