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Towards an early-warning system for global landslides triggered by rainfall and earthquake

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Drawing upon the recent advances of satellite remote-sensing technology and landslide modelling techniques, a framework is proposed to attempt an early-warning system for landslide hazards after heavy rainfall and/or earthquake, the two major triggers for landslides. This framework includes three major components: (1) a landslide susceptibility information database, including geology, elevation, topography, soil, and land-cover types; (2) a real-time space-borne precipitation estimation system (; and (3) a near-real-time ground-shaking prediction system after earthquakes ( The ultimate goal of this framework is to rapidly predict landslide potential after large earthquakes and/or heavy rainfall by combing the dynamic triggers with landslide susceptibility information derived from high-resolution geospatial datasets. However, the challenge for integrating these real-time systems into an operational landslide prediction network and quickly disseminating alerts around the world is tremendous. It requires continued efforts and interdisciplinary collaboration in the next 2-5 years in order to realize such a system, providing early warning for landslides around the globe in a day-to-day decision-making operation.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Goddard Earth and Science Technology Center/UMBC, Baltimore, MD 21228, USA,NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA 2: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD 20771, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2007

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