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Pan-European and nation-wide landslide susceptibility assessment (European Landslide Susceptibility Map)

Project background

In the framework of the European Soil Thematic Strategy, a project to map landslide susceptibility at the scale of Europe (i.e.1:1 Million) was suggested in 2007 by the Soil Information Working Group (SIWG) of the European Soil Bureau Network (ESBN). The methodology consists of identifying the potential areas subject to generic landslide types by expert knowledge using available thematic and environmental data. The choice of the 1:1 M scale allows the use of harmonized data sets for all Member States as input to the susceptibility model.

The objectives of the project are:

1) To refine the preliminary assessment at the Pan-European scale by estimating three independent maps per landslide type (e.g. slides, falls and flows) and propose a methodology to combine the three independent maps in one unique compound landslide susceptibility map; the susceptibility modelling will be carried out by comparing a spatial multi-criteria approach (SMCE) and a fully data oriented statistical approach (logistic regression). This objective is being carried out as part of the Landslide Expert Group of JRC;

2) To propose nation-wide assessments of landslide susceptibility for three countries (Portugal, Georgia and Romania) by compiling national landslide inventories  and using a statistical modelling approach (logistic regression) on a series of environmental factors on data with higher resolution than for the Pan European map. A method to integrate information on landslide triggers (rain, earthquake) in the analysis will be proposed and tested in Georgia, Portugal and Romania (possibly the use of meteorological information derived from remote-sensing imagery will be used);

3) To analyse (through a dedicated online questionnaire) the different methods of assessment (Landslide Risk Assessment Model; LRAM) and the categories of maps used in practice by the European Countries in their regulation for landslide susceptibility, hazard and risk mapping, and identify the pro & cons of each methodology.

More information about the project Pan-European and nation-wide landslide susceptibility assessment.

Project implementation

European Centre on Geomorphological Hazards - France :
In 2013, the first version of the European Landslide Susceptibility map (ELSUS1000) has been released. During the period 2012-2013, several experiments of integration of triggering factors data and of the establishment of landslide typologically differentiated assessments have been carried out at the scale of countries (France, Romania, Georgia, Portual). For 2014-2015, the global aim of this project was the establishement of a methodology to update the current ELSUS map to a European landslide hazard map. Another aspect was to promote the genericity of the approach to other environments, and to test the method on landslide national datasets in Africa (Ethiopia, Marocco) through established networks. A survey has also been conducted in cooperation with ISPU on the pro and cons of available Landslide Risk Assessment Methodologies (LRAMs) in several countries. This should allow to propose some possible guidelines to establish a common strategy for landslide hazard assessment in Europe.

Most significant achievements

European Centre on Geomorphological Hazards - France :
  • Development of the first version of the European Landslide Susceptibility map (ELSUS1000)

  • Quantitative analysis of the results of the survey on the performance of ELSUS v1 (possible location errors, possible local ranking errors in the susceptibility levels)

  • Analysis of the on-going surveys on Landslide Risk Assessment Methodologies (LRAMs) conducted in collaboration with ISPU

  • Construction of ELSUS v2 through 1) the integration of landslide typological differentiation in the susceptibility assessment at the European scale through the use of new information on observed landslide locations, and 2) the integration of more detailed lithological information available at the continental scale

  • Quantitative assessment of Hazard at the country scale for France, Romania and Georgia through the integration of soil moisture data from JRC, rainfall estimates from European Weather Forecast, and Peak Ground Acceleration (PGA) information

  • Benchmarking of the method to test its genericity to African physiogeographic settings and data availability consitions, collection and organisation of relevant data for the national and regional assessments in Ethiopia and Marocco in collaboration with local partners

  • Integration of all information available for Ethiopia and Morocco, production of national susceptibility maps and comparisons with ancillary data


European Centre on Geomorphological Hazards - France

European Centre on Geomorphological Hazards - France

European Centre on Geodynamical Hazards of High Dams - Georgia

European Centre for Rehabilitation of Buildings - Romania

Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Evaluation and Prevention of Seismic Risk - Morocco

Higher Institute of Emergency Planning - Belgium

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