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Modelling catchment-scale shallow landslide occurrence and sediment yield as a function of rainfall return period

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Isabella Bovolo, Dr James Bathurst, John Cunningham

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Abstract

A model-based method is proposed for improving upon existing threshold relationships which define the rainfall conditions for triggering shallow landslides but do not allow the magnitude of landsliding (i.e. the number of landslides) to be determined. The SHETRAN catchment-scale shallow landslide model is used to quantify the magnitude of landsliding as a function of rainfall return period, for focus sites of 180 and 45 km2 in the Italian Southern Alps and the central Spanish Pyrenees. Rainfall events with intensities of different return period are generated for a range of durations (1-day to 5-day) and applied to the model to give the number of landslides triggered and the resulting sediment yield for each event. For a given event duration, simulated numbers of landslides become progressively less sensitive to return period as return period increases. Similarly, for an event of given return period, landslide magnitude becomes less sensitive to event duration as duration increases. The temporal distribution of rainfall within an event is shown to have a significant impact on the number of landslides and the timing of their occurrence. The contribution of shallow landsliding to catchment sediment yield is similarly quantified as a function of the rainfall characteristics. Rainfall intensity-duration curves are presented which define the different levels of landsliding magnitude and which advance our predictive capability beyond, but are generally consistent with, published threshold curves. The magnitude curves are relevant to the development of guidelines for landslide hazard assessment and forecasting.


Publication metadata

Author(s): Bovolo CI, Bathurst JC

Publication type: Article

Journal: Hydrological Processes

Year: 2012

Volume: 26

Issue: 4

Pages: 579-596

Print publication date: 27/05/2011

ISSN (print): 0885-6087

ISSN (electronic): 1099-1085

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/hyp.8158

DOI: 10.1002/hyp.8158


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