Global Landslide Forecasting System for Hazard Assessment and Situational Awareness





Citation of Original Publication

Khan S, Kirschbaum DB, Stanley TA, Amatya PM and Emberson RA (2022) Global Landslide Forecasting System for Hazard Assessment and Situational Awareness. Front. Earth Sci. 10:878996. doi: 10.3389/feart.2022.878996


This work was written as part of one of the author's official duties as an Employee of the United States Government and is therefore a work of the United States Government. In accordance with 17 U.S.C. 105, no copyright protection is available for such works under U.S. Law.
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Landslides triggered by extreme rainfall can be devastating, resulting in loss of life, property, and infrastructure. Landslide forecasting systems provide an opportunity to build awareness of potential hazards and ultimately take preemptive measures. There is currently a dearth of forecasting systems that provide regional or global coverage, but these systems can offer important situational awareness in data-sparse, ungauged, or large-scale catchments. A near global, primarily satellite-based system called the Landslide Hazard Assessment for Situational Awareness (LHASA) provides near real-time estimates of potential landslide hazard and exposure around the world. In this work, a precipitation forecast module is introduced into LHASA to complement the existing LHASA framework and provide an estimate of landslide hazard up to 3 days in advance at 1 km resolution. The model-based Goddard Earth Observing System-Forward Processing (GEOS-FP) precipitation forecast product is used as the forcing input for the model in place of the satellite-based Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for Global Precipitation Mission product. Soil moisture and snow depth from the GEOS-FP assimilated product are also incorporated. The study period January 2020–January 2021 is used to test the model performance against the LHASA near real-time estimates at multiple spatiotemporal scales. Validation of the model is carried out using a collection of rainfall-triggered landslide inventories from around the world as case studies to demonstrate the potential utility and limitations of this system. The rescaling of the GEOS-FP precipitation product is a critical step in incorporating the forecasted precipitation data within LHASA-Forecast (LHASA-F). Combining different streams of forecasted data within the LHASA-F framework shows promise, particularly for larger events at the 1- and 2-days lead time for events. Results indicate that for the case studies evaluated, the LHASA-F is generally able to resolve major landslide events triggered by extreme rainfall, such as from tropical cyclones. The analysis shows that landslide forecast outputs may be represented differently depending on the user’s needs. This framework serves as a first milestone in providing a global predictive view of landslide hazard.