Integrating Spatial Multi-criteria Evaluation and Expert Knowledge for Country-Scale Landslide Susceptibility Analysis: Application to France

  • Jean-Philippe MaletEmail author
  • Anne Puissant
  • Alexandre Mathieu
  • Miet Van Den Eeckhaut
  • Mathieu Fressard


Information on landslide susceptibility and hazard at the national scale is of fundamental importance for the design and implementation of risk management policies and the prioritarization of the allocation of resources. Lack of such information in Europe and the implementation of the European Union’s Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection (Commission of the European Communities, Thematic strategy for soil protection. COM(2006)231 final. Brussels, 2006a; Commission of the European Communities, Proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for the protection of soil and amending directive 2004/35/EC. COM(2006)232 final. Brussels, 2006b) let to an initiative of JRC (Joint Research Centre, European Commission) to setup a European Landslide Expert Group in order to identify the areas in Europe where landslides are likely to occur. In this context, this work presents the method developed for the creation of the ‘Tier 1’ landslide susceptibility map for France at a 1:1M scale, where susceptibility is defined as the spatial probability of occurrence of an event. The method is applied by differentiating three categories of landslide types, namely slides, falls and flows. More specifically, the method combines a weighting-rating procedure of both factors and classes of factors using a spatial-multi-criteria evaluation technique (SMCE) and an objective calibration of the weights based on statistics on the distribution of observed landslides per slope angle, lithology and landcover classes. The quality of the nation-scale map is evaluated with references (1) to the French landslide inventory map BDMvT, and (2) to regional or local susceptibility maps available in the literature or created for planning purposes.


Landslide Susceptibility map Heuristic model Expert knowledge Spatial multi-criteria evaluation 



This work is part of the European Landslide Expert Group on ‘Guidelines for Mapping Areas at Risk of Landslides in Europe’ coordinated by the JRC since 2007, and has been partly supported by the CERG (European Centre on Geomorphological Hazards) through the European and Mediterranean Major Hazards Agreement (EUR-OPA) of the Council of Europe. The members of the European Landslide Expert Group are thanked for all the fruitful discussions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jean-Philippe Malet
    • 1
    Email author
  • Anne Puissant
    • 2
  • Alexandre Mathieu
    • 1
  • Miet Van Den Eeckhaut
    • 3
  • Mathieu Fressard
    • 4
  1. 1.Institut de Physique du Globe de Strasbourg, CNRS UMR 7516Université de Strasbourg, Ecole et Observatoire des Sciences de la TerreStrasbourgFrance
  2. 2.Laboratoire Image, Ville, Environnement, CNRS FRE 7230Université de StrasbourgStrasbourgFrance
  3. 3.Institute for Environment and SustainabilityJoint Research Centre (JRC), European CommissionIspra (VA)Italy
  4. 4.Géographie Physique et Environnement, CNRS UMR 6554Université de Caen-Basse-NormandieCaen CedexFrance

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