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Exploring the geomorphological adequacy of the landslide susceptibility maps: A test for different types of landslides in the Bidente river basin (northern Italy)

  • Authors: Martinello, Chiara; Delchiaro, Michele; Iacobucci, Giulia; Cappadonia, Chiara; Rotigliano, Edoardo; Piacentini, Daniela
  • Publication year: 2024
  • Type: Articolo in rivista
  • Key words: Landslide susceptibility, WoE, MARS, Predisposing factors, Variable importance, Northern apennines
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Landslide susceptibility modelling is a crucial tool for implementing effective strategies in landslide risk mitigation. A plethora of statistical methods is available for generating accurate prediction images; however, the reliability of these models in terms of geomorphological adequacy is often overlooked by scholars. This critical flaw may result in concealed prediction errors, undermining the trustworthiness of the obtained maps. A key aspect of evaluating the geomorphological soundness of these models lies in factor analysis, specifically considering the correlation of explanatory variables with the final susceptibility score rather than solely focusing on their impact on model accuracy. This study delves into research conducted in the Bidente river basin (Italy) that analyes results obtained from slide, flow, and complex susceptibility models using Weight of Evidence (WoE) and Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines (MARS) statistical methods. The research critically examines each factor class's role in defining susceptibility scores for different landslide typologies. The comparison between susceptibility maps generated by WoE and MARS for each typology (slide = 0.78; flow = 0.85; complex: 0.79) (slide = 0.78; flow = 0.85; complex: 0.79)reveals good to excellent prediction skill, with MARS demonstrating a 5 % higher performance index. The study emphasises the importance of spatial relationships between variables and landslide occurrences, highlighting that individual classes of variables influence the final susceptibility score based on their combined role with other predictor classes. In particular, in this study, results highlight that lithotecnical and landform classification classes delimit the landslide domain, while topographic attributes (steepness, curvatures, SPI and TWI) modulate the score inside. The proposed approach offers insights into investigating the geomorphological adequacy of landslide prediction images, emphasising the significance of factor analysis in evaluating model reliability and uncovering potential errors in susceptibility maps.