Rainfall and land use empirically coupled to forecast landslides in the Esino river basin, central Italy

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Abstract

A coupled empirical approach to highlight relationships between rainfall, vegetation segmentation, and landslide occurrence is discussed. To reveal such links, two important rainfall events, which occurred over the Esino river basin in central Italy in November 2013 and May 2014, were analysed. The correlation between rainfall and landslides was evaluated by applying an intensity-duration (ID) threshold method, whereas the correlation between vegetation segmentation and landslides was investigated using morphological spatial pattern analysis (MSPA). This coupled approach represents an attempt to find both timing and location of landslide occurrence through an empirical (black box) analysis. Results showed: (i) the ID minimum threshold proposed in a previous study (Gioia et al., 2015) to be verified as an effective equation to assess the rainfall conditions likely to trigger landslides in the study area ("when"), and (ii) the core areas and the fragmented vegetation structures defined by the MSPA to be the most affected by slope failures ("where"). These encouraging findings prompt additional testing and the application of such a coupled empirical approach so that it is possible to achieve an integrated basis for landslide forecasting.

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Gioia, E., Carone, T., & Marincioni, F. (2015). Rainfall and land use empirically coupled to forecast landslides in the Esino river basin, central Italy. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences, 15(6), 1289–1295. https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-15-1289-2015

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