Landslide susceptibility mapping : remote sensing and GIS approach

Tyoda, Zipho (2013-03)

Thesis (MSc)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.


Landslide susceptibility maps are important for development planning and disaster management. The current synthesis of landslide susceptibility maps largely applies GIS and remote sensing techniques. One of the most critical stages on landslide susceptibility mapping is the selection of landslide causative factors and weighting of the selected causative factors, in accordance to their influence to slope instability. GIS is ideal when deriving static factors i.e. slope and aspect and most importantly in the synthesis of landslide susceptibility maps. The integration of landslide causative thematic maps requires the selection of the weighting method; in order to weight the causative thematic maps in accordance to their influence to slope instability. Landslide susceptibility mapping is based on the assumption that future landslides will occur under similar circumstances as historic landslides. The weight of evidence method is ideal for landslide susceptibility mapping, as it calculates the weights of the causative thematic maps using known landslides points. This method was applied in an area within the Western Cape province of South Africa, the area is known to be highly susceptible to landslide occurrences. A prediction rate of 80.37% was achieved. The map combination approach was also applied and achieved a prediction rate of 50.98%. Satellite remote sensing techniques can be used to derive the thematic information needed to synthesize landslide susceptibility maps and to monitor the variable parameters influencing landslide susceptibility. Satellite remote sensing techniques can contribute to landslide investigation at three distinct phases namely: (1) detection and classification of landslides (2) monitoring landslide movement and identification of conditions leading up to an event (3) analysis and prediction of slope failures. Various sources of remote sensing data can contribute to these phases. Although the detection and classification of landslides through the remote sensing techniques is important to define landslide controlling parameters, the ideal is to use remote sensing data for monitoring of areas susceptible to landslide occurrence in an effort to provide an early warning. In this regard, optical remote sensing data was used successfully to monitor the variable conditions (vegetation health and productivity) that make an area susceptible to landslide occurrence.

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