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Using Public Landslide Inventories for Landslide Susceptibility Assessment at the Basin Scale: Application to the Torto River Basin (Central-Northern Sicily, Italy)

  • Authors: Martinello C.; Mercurio C.; Cappadonia C.; Bellomo V.; Conte A.; Mineo G.; Di Frisco G.; Azzara G.; Bufalini M.; Materazzi M.; Rotigliano E.
  • Publication year: 2023
  • Type: Articolo in rivista
  • OA Link:


In statistical landslide susceptibility evaluation, the quality of the model and its prediction image heavily depends on the quality of the landslide inventories used for calibration. However, regional-scale inventories made available by public territorial administrations are typically affected by an unknown grade of incompleteness and mapping inaccuracy. In this research, a procedure is proposed for verifying and solving such limits by applying a two-step susceptibility modeling procedure. In the Torto River basin (central-northern Sicily, Italy), using an available regional landslide inventory (267 slide and 78 flow cases), two SUFRA_1 models were first prepared and used to assign a landslide susceptibility level to each slope unit (SLU) in which the study area was partitioned. For each of the four susceptibility classes that were obtained, 30% of the mapping units were randomly selected and their stable/unstable status was checked by remote analysis. The new, increased inventories were finally used to recalibrate two SUFRA_2 models. The prediction skills of the SUFRA_1 and SUFRA_2 models were then compared by testing their accuracy in matching landslide distribution in a test sub-basin where a high-resolution systematic inventory had been prepared. According to the results, the strong limits of the SUFRA_1 models (sensitivity: 0.67 and 0.57 for slide and flow, respectively) were largely solved by the SUFRA_2 model (sensitivity: 1 for both slide and flow), suggesting the proposed procedure as a possibly suitable modeling strategy for regional susceptibility studies.