Multi-hazard Risk Assessment

  • Limin ZhangEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Series in Geomechanics and Geoengineering book series (SSGG)


This paper presents a brief summary of multi-hazard risk assessment, focusing on cascading landslide hazards. It starts by presenting the multi-hazard processes an engineering system may face, and possible interactions among the separate hazards and between the vulnerabilities of elements at risk to these hazards. Then a framework for analyzing the flooding, landslide and debris flow processes in a rainstorm is introduced. Multi-hazard risk assessment requires more comprehensive physical analyses than what are needed in conventional geotechnical design. Stability analysis, flow analysis and impact analysis are all required. The outcomes of such physical analyses form the basis for evaluating the risks associated with these multi-hazardous processes. The multi-risk analysis can be performed using a HKUST five-step procedure, which describes the hazardous processes in an explicit probabilistic framework and identifies key parameters that govern the success of a risk mitigation effort. Rational engineering decisions and emergency management policies can be made based on such physically-based risk analysis.


Multi-hazard risk assessment Landslide Risk management 



I would like to thank Prof. Gerd Gudehus on the special occasion of his 80th birthday, for hosting me as a senior visiting scholar in 1995 at Institute for Soil and Rock Mechanics of Karlsruhe University, and for his insight in teaching and research in soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering. The research reported in this paper was supported by the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong SAR Government (Projects No. C6012-15G, T22-603/15N and 16206217).


  1. Bell, R., Glade, T.: Multi-hazard analysis in natural risk assessments. In: Mambretti, S. (ed.) Landslides, pp. 1–11. WIT Press (2012)Google Scholar
  2. Chang, D.S., Zhang, L.M., Xu, Y., Huang, R.Q.: Field testing of erodibility of two landslide dams triggered by the 12 May Wenchuan earthquake. Landslides 8(3), 321–332 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Chen, H.X., Zhang, L.M.: A physically-based distributed cell model for predicting regional rainfall-induced slope failures. Eng. Geol. 176, 79–92 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Chen, H.X., Zhang, L.M.: EDDA 1.0: integrated simulation of debris flow erosion, deposition and property changes. Geosci. Model Dev. 8, 829–844 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chen, H.X., Zhang, L.M., Gao, L., Zhu, H., Zhang, S.: Presenting regional shallow landslide movement on three-dimensional digital terrain. Eng. Geol. 195, 122–134 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Chen, H.X., Zhang, S., Peng, M., Zhang, L.M.: A physically-based multi-hazard risk assessment platform for regional rainfall-induced slope failures and debris flows. Eng. Geol. 203, 15–29 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Gao, L., Zhang, L.M., Cheung, R.W.M.: Relationships between natural terrain landslide magnitudes and triggering rainfall based on a large landslide inventory in Hong Kong. Landslides 15, 727–740 (2018)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Ho, K.S.S., Cheung, R.W.M., Wong, Y.S.: Managing landslide risk systematically using engineering works. Proc. Inst. Civ. Eng.-Civ. Eng. 169(6), 25–34 (2016)Google Scholar
  9. Lacasse, S., Nadim, F.: Learning to live with geohazards: from research to practice. In: ASCE Geotechnical Conference Georisk-2011, GSP No. 224, pp. 64–116. ASCE, Reston (2011)Google Scholar
  10. Lacasse, S., Nadim, F., Hoeg, K.: Risk assessment and mitigation in geo-practice. In: Keynote Lecture, GeoCongress 2012, GSP No. 226, pp. 729–764. ASCE, Reston (2012)Google Scholar
  11. Peng, M., Zhang, L.M.: Analysis of human risks due to dam break floods - part 1: a new model based on Bayesian networks. Nat. Hazards 64(1), 903–933 (2012a)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Peng, M., Zhang, L.M.: Analysis of human risks due to dam break floods - part 2: application to Tangjiashan landslide dam failure. Nat. Hazards 64(2), 1899–1923 (2012b)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Peng, M., Zhang, L.M.: Dynamic decision making for dam-break emergency management - part 1: theoretical framework. Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. 13, 425–437 (2013a)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Peng, M., Zhang, L.M.: Dynamic decision making for dam-break emergency management - part 2: application to Tangjiashan landslide dam failure. Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. 13, 439–454 (2013b)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Shen, P., Zhang, L.M., Chen, H.X., Fan, R.L.: EDDA 2.0: integrated simulation of debris flow initiation and dynamics, considering two initiation mechanisms. Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss. (2017).
  16. Zhang, L.L., Zhang, J., Zhang, L.M., Tang, W.H.: Stability analysis of rainfall-induced slope failures: a review. Proc. Inst. Civ. Eng. Geotech. Eng. 164(5), 299–316 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Zhang, L.M., Zhang, S.: Approaches to multi-hazard landslide risk assessment. In: Proceedings of ASCE GeoRisk 2017, GSP No. 286, pp. 312–323. ASCE, Reston (2017b)Google Scholar
  18. Zhang, L.M., Zhang, S., Huang, R.Q.: Multi-hazard scenarios and consequences in Beichuan, China: the first five years after the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. Eng. Geol. 180, 4–20 (2014a)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Zhang, S.: Assessment of human risks posed by cascading landslides in the Wenchuan earthquake area. Ph.D. thesis, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong (2014)Google Scholar
  20. Zhang, S., Zhang, L.M.: Human vulnerability to quick shallow landslides along road: fleeing process and modelling. Landslides 11(6), 1115–1129 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Zhang, S., Zhang, L.M.: Impact of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake in China on subsequent long-term debris flow activities in the epicentral area. Geomorphology 276(1), 86–103 (2017a)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Zhang, S., Zhang, L.M., Peng, M., Zhang, L.L., Zhao, H.F., Chen, H.X.: Assessment of risks of loose landslide deposits formed by the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake. Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci. 12, 1381–1392 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Zhang, S., Zhang, L.M., Glade, T.: Characteristics of earthquake- and rain-induced landslides near the epicentre of Wenchuan Earthquake. Eng. Geol. 175, 58–73 (2014b)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Zhang, S., Zhang, L.M., Chen, H.X.: Relationships among three repeated large-scale debris flows at the Pubugou Ravine in the Wenchuan earthquake zone. Can. Geotech. J. 51(9), 951–965 (2014c)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Zhang, S., Zhang, L.M., Nadim, F., Lacasse, S.: Evolution of mass movement near epicentre of Wenchuan earthquake, the first eight years. Sci. Rep. 6, 36154 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Zhu, H., Zhang, L.M.: Field investigation of erosion resistance of common grass species for soil-bioengineering in Hong Kong. Acta Geotech. 11(5), 1047–1059 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hong Kong University of Science and TechnologyKowloonHong Kong

Personalised recommendations