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Volume 18, issue 7 | Copyright

Special issue: Landslide early warning systems: monitoring systems, rainfall...

Nat. Hazards Earth Syst. Sci., 18, 1919-1935, 2018
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 10 Jul 2018

Research article | 10 Jul 2018

Application of a physically based model to forecast shallow landslides at a regional scale

Teresa Salvatici1, Veronica Tofani1, Guglielmo Rossi1, Michele D'Ambrosio1, Carlo Tacconi Stefanelli1, Elena Benedetta Masi1, Ascanio Rosi1, Veronica Pazzi1, Pietro Vannocci1, Miriana Petrolo1, Filippo Catani1, Sara Ratto2, Hervè Stevenin2, and Nicola Casagli1 Teresa Salvatici et al.
  • 1Department of Earth Sciences, University of Florence, Florence, 50121, Italy
  • 2Centro funzionale, Regione Autonoma Valle d'Aosta, Aosta, 11100, Italy

Abstract. In this work, we apply a physically based model, namely the HIRESSS (HIgh REsolution Slope Stability Simulator) model, to forecast the occurrence of shallow landslides at the regional scale. HIRESSS is a physically based distributed slope stability simulator for analyzing shallow landslide triggering conditions during a rainfall event. The modeling software is made up of two parts: hydrological and geotechnical. The hydrological model is based on an analytical solution from an approximated form of the Richards equation, while the geotechnical stability model is based on an infinite slope model that takes the unsaturated soil condition into account. The test area is a portion of the Aosta Valley region, located in the northwest of the Alpine mountain chain. The geomorphology of the region is characterized by steep slopes with elevations ranging from 400ma.s.l. on the Dora Baltea River's floodplain to 4810ma.s.l. at Mont Blanc. In the study area, the mean annual precipitation is about 800–900mm. These features make the territory very prone to landslides, mainly shallow rapid landslides and rockfalls. In order to apply the model and to increase its reliability, an in-depth study of the geotechnical and hydrological properties of hillslopes controlling shallow landslide formation was conducted. In particular, two campaigns of on site measurements and laboratory experiments were performed using 12 survey points. The data collected contributed to the generation of an input map of parameters for the HIRESSS model. In order to consider the effect of vegetation on slope stability, the soil reinforcement due to the presence of roots was also taken into account; this was done based on vegetation maps and literature values of root cohesion. The model was applied using back analysis for two past events that affected the Aosta Valley region between 2008 and 2009, triggering several fast shallow landslides. The validation of the results, carried out using a database of past landslides, provided good results and a good prediction accuracy for the HIRESSS model from both a temporal and spatial point of view.

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In this paper, we present the application of the physically based HIRESSS model (High Resolution Stability Simulator) to forecast the occurrence of shallow landslides in a portion of the Aosta Valley region (Italy). An in-depth study of the geotechnical and hydrological properties of the hillslopes controlling shallow landslides formation was conducted, in order to generate an input map of parameters. The main aim of this study is to set up a regional landslide early warning system.
In this paper, we present the application of the physically based HIRESSS model (High Resolution...