Open image in new windowSynoptic Pan-European Landslide Susceptibility Assessment: The ELSUS 1000 v1 Map

Conference paper


In order to identify areas in Europe susceptible to landslides in the context of the EU Soil Thematic Strategy and the associated Proposal for a Soil Framework Directive, a harmonised approach encompassing geographically-nested susceptibility assessments (“Tiers”) and, where possible, the use of comparable datasets as input criteria for susceptibility modelling was devised. The first version of the 1 km grid size European Landslide Susceptibility Map (ELSUS 1000 v1), covering the EU and neighbouring countries, is derived from “Tier 1” assessment. The mapping approach employed includes first a climate-physiographic regionalisation of the study area. For each region, a spatial multi-criteria evaluation model is established to evaluate landslide susceptibility using commonly available pan-European datasets on slope angle, lithology and land cover, which are considered as the main conditioning factors for all types of landslides at this scale. Factor weights are assigned through pairwise comparisons using analytical hierarchy processes for each region, while region-specific factor class weights are initially established by computing landslide frequency ratios using more than 102,000 landslide locations across Europe. For each model region, a pixel-based susceptibility index is calculated by linear summation of conditioning factor weights and factor class weights. Each index map is then evaluated and classified into five susceptibility levels using true positive ratio breaks derived from receiver operating characteristics curves obtained with the landslide inventory. Finally, the region-specific classified susceptibility maps are spatially combined into the synoptic ELSUS 1000 v1 map. The map is available from the European Soil Data Centre (ESDAC), hosted by the Joint Research Centre, together with ancillary datasets, including a reliability evaluation of the susceptibility map. Further work is in progress to improve the accuracy of the map, mainly by integrating into the assessment a new pan-European lithological dataset and further landslide locations for areas not represented in the current inventory.


Landslides Soil thematic strategy Landslide susceptibility assessment ELSUS 1000 Europe 



This work has been carried out in the framework of the Joint Research Centre-coordinated European Landslide Expert Group’s support to the EU Soil Thematic Strategy. It also forms part of the International Programme on Landslides project IPL-162 “Tier-based harmonised approach for landslide susceptibility mapping over Europe” and of the Council of Europe’s EUR-OPA project “Pan-European and nation-wide landslide susceptibility assessment”, coordinated by the European Centre on Geomorphological Hazards (CERG).

We are grateful for the support of the following institutions and persons providing basic information on landslides from their national or regional databases: Albanian Geological Survey (AGS, M. Jusufati) Geologische Bundesanstalt, Austria (GBA, N. Tilch), British Geological Survey (BGS, C. Dashwood), Environment, Nature and Energy Department, Flemish Government, Belgium (LNE, L. Vandekerckhove), Czech Geological Survey (CGS, D, Čápová), Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières, France (BRGM, G. Grandjean), Sächsisches Landesamt für Umwelt, Landwirtschaft und Geologie, Germany (LfULG, P. Dommaschk), Bayerisches Landesamt für Umwelt (LFU, A. von Poschinger and T. Gallemann), Landesamt für Umwelt, Naturschutz und Geologie MV (LUNG, K. Schütze), Institute of Geology and Mineral Exploration, Greece (IGME, E. Poyiadji), Hungarian Office for Mining and Geology (BMFH, T. Oszvald), Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI, R. Creighton), Instituto de Geografia e Ordenamento do Território, University of Lisbon, Portugal (IGOT, J.L. Zêzere), Geological Survey of Norway (NGU, T. Oppikofer and R. Hermanns), Swedish Geotechnical Institute (SGI, M. Öberg and C. Cederbom), and Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland (FOEN/BAFU, H. Raetzo and B. Loup).

We also thank P. Panagos and M. Van Liedekerke (JRC Ispra, Italy) for publishing the maps on ESDAC.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Federal Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR)HannoverGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Environment and Sustainability, Joint Research Centre (JRC), European CommissionIspraItaly
  3. 3.ARCADISBrusselsBelgium
  4. 4.Institut de Physique du Globe de Strasbourg, CNRSUniversity of StrasbourgStrasbourgFrance
  5. 5.Research Institute for Hydrogeological Protection (CNR-IRPI)National Research CouncilPerugiaItaly

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