Global & Disaster Medicine

A Global View of Landslide Susceptibility

A Global View of Landslide Susceptibility

By one estimate, landslides triggered by heavy rain kill roughly 4,600 people each year. Scientists at NASA and elsewhere are trying to find ways to reduce that number.

Dalia Kirschbaum and Thomas Stanley have taken one step in that direction by developing a new map of global landslide susceptibility. The map is part of a broader effort to establish a hazards monitoring system that combines satellite observations of rainfall from the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission with an assessment of the underlying susceptibility of terrain.

Steep slopes are the most important factor that make a landscape susceptible to landslides. Other key factors include deforestation, the presence of roads, the strength of bedrock and soils, and the location of faults.



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