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Exporting a Google Earth™ aided earthflow susceptibility model: a test in central Sicily

  • Autori: Costanzo, D.; Cappadonia, C.; Conoscenti, C.; Rotigliano, E.
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2012
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • Parole Chiave: Landslide susceptibility, Exportation of models, Google EarthTM, Validation
  • OA Link:


Abstract In the framework of a regional landslide susceptibility study in southern Sicily, a test has been carried out in the Tumarrano river basin (about 80 km2) aimed at characterizing its landslide susceptibility conditions by exporting a ‘‘source model’’, defined and trained inside a limited (about 20 km2) representative sector (the ‘‘source area’’). Also, the possibility of exploiting Google Earth TM software and photo-images databank to produce the landslide archives has been checked. The susceptibility model was defined, according to a multivariate geostatistic approach based on the conditional analysis, using unique condition units (UCUs), which were obtained by combining four selected controlling factors: outcropping lithology, steepness, plan curvature and topographic wetness index. The prediction skill of the exported model, trained with 206 landslides, is compared with the one estimated for the whole studied area, by using a complete landslide archive (703 landslides), to see to what extent the largest time/money costs needed are accounted for. The investigated area stretches in the fore-deep sector of southern Sicily, where clayey rocks, mainly referring to the Numidian Flysch and the Terravecchia Formations, largely crop out. The results of the study confirm both the exploitability of Google Earth TM to produce landslide archive and possibility to adopt in assessing the landslide susceptibility for large basin, a strategy based on the exportation of models trained in limited representative sectors.