Predictions of Weekly Soil Movements Using Moving-Average and Support-Vector Methods: A Case-Study in Chamoli, India

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


Landslides plague the Himalayan region, and landslide occurrence is widespread in hilly areas. Thus, it is important to predict soil movements and associated landslide events in advance of their occurrence. A recent approach to predicting soil movements is to use machine-learning techniques. In machine-learning literature, both moving-average-based methods (Seasonal Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (SARIMA) model and Autoregressive (AR) model) and support-vector-based methods (Sequential Minimal Optimization; SMO) have been proposed. However, an evaluation of these methods on real-world landslide prediction has been little explored. The primary objective of this paper is to compare SARIMA, AR, and SMO methods in their ability to predict soil movements recorded at a real-world landslide site. A SARIMA model, an AR model, and a SMO model were compared in their ability to predict soil movements (in degrees) at the Tangni landslide in Chamoli, India. Time-series data about soil movements from five-sensors placed on the Tangni landslide hill were collected daily over a 78-week period from July 2012 to July 2014. Different model parameters were calibrated to the training data (first 62-weeks) and then made to predict the test data (the last 16-weeks). Results revealed that the moving-average models (SARIMA and AR) performed better compared to the support-vector models (SMO) during both training and test. Specifically, the SARIMA model possessed the smallest error compared to the AR and SMO models during test. We discuss the implications of using moving-average methods in predicting soil movements and associated landslides at real-world landslide locations.


Landslides SARIMA SMO Autoregression Soil movements Tangni landslide 



The project was supported from grants (awards: IITM/NDMA/VD/184, IITM/DRDO-DTRL/VD/179, and IITM/DCoN/VD/204) to Varun Dutt. We are also grateful to Indian Institute of Technology Mandi for providing computational resources for this project.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Applied Cognitive Science LabIndian Institute of Technology MandiKamandIndia
  2. 2.Geohazard Studies LaboratoryIndian Institute of Technology MandiKamandIndia
  3. 3.Defence Terrain Research LaboratoryDefence Research and Development Organization (DRDO)New DelhiIndia
  4. 4.National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)New DelhiIndia

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