Publications

A new approach to mapping landslide hazards: a probabilistic integration of empirical and physically based models in the North Cascades of Washington, USA

Citation

Strauch, R., Istanbulluoglu, E., and Riedel, J.: A new approach to mapping landslide hazards: a probabilistic integration of empirical and physically based models in the North Cascades of Washington, USA, Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 19, 2477–2495, https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-19-2477-2019, 2019.


Abstract

We developed a new approach for mapping landslide hazards by combining probabilities of landslide impacts derived from a data-driven statistical approach and a physically based model of shallow landsliding. Our statistical approach integrates the influence of seven site attributes (SAs) on observed landslides using a frequency ratio (FR) method. Influential attributes and resulting susceptibility maps depend on the observations of landslides considered: all types of landslides, debris avalanches only, or source areas of debris avalanches. These observational datasets reflect the detection of different landslide processes or components, which relate to different landslide-inducing factors. For each landslide dataset, a stability index (SI) is calculated as a multiplicative result of the frequency ratios for all attributes and is mapped across our study domain in the North Cascades National Park Complex (NOCA), Washington, USA. A continuous function is developed to relate local SI values to landslide probability based on a ratio of landslide and non-landslide grid cells. The empirical model probability derived from the debris avalanche source area dataset is combined probabilistically with a previously developed physically based probabilistic model. A two-dimensional binning method employs empirical and physically based probabilities as indices and calculates a joint probability of landsliding at the intersections of probability bins. A ratio of the joint probability and the physically based model bin probability is used as a weight to adjust the original physically based probability at each grid cell given empirical evidence. The resulting integrated probability of landslide initiation hazard includes mechanisms not captured by the infinite-slope stability model alone. Improvements in distinguishing potentially unstable areas with the proposed integrated model are statistically quantified. We provide multiple landslide hazard maps that land managers can use for planning and decision-making, as well as for educating the public about hazards from landslides in this remote high-relief terrain.