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Open AccessArticle

Intrinsic Environmental Vulnerability as Shallow Landslide Susceptibility in Environmental Impact Assessment

Istituto di Ricerca per la Protezione Idrogeologica, Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Strada della Cacce 73, 10135 Torino, Italy
Freelance geographer, Via Leonardo da Vinci 45, 20062 Cassano d’Adda (Milano), Italy
Department of Earth, Environment and Life Sciences, University of Genoa, Corso Europa 26, 16132 Genova, Italy
Department of Earth Sciences, University of Turin, Via Valperga Caluso 35, 10125 Torino, Italy
Department of Engineering, Parthenope University of Napoli, Centro Direzionale, Isola C4, 80143 Napoli, Italy
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(22), 6285;
Received: 30 September 2019 / Revised: 30 October 2019 / Accepted: 5 November 2019 / Published: 8 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Environmental Impact Assessment and Sustainable Development)
This work investigated the susceptibility factors that trigger shallow landslides. In particular, the objective of the research was the implementation of a method to determine the relevant factors that can trigger shallow landslide events. However, with respect to the existing methods, the integration with historical datasets and the inclusion of spatial factors displaying dynamics in the same characteristic timescales were specific features of the developed tool. The study area included the watersheds of the Sessera and Strona rivers in the alpine area of the Province of Biella (Piedmont, NW Italy). The method was developed and tested from two sub-datasets derived from an integrated dataset that referred to an intense event, involving the same area, that occurred in 1968 (2–3 November). This allowed the implementation of an integrated representation of landslides’ predisposing factors and the identification and classification in different groups of the areas susceptible to geo-hydrological instability processes. The previously existing databases were verified and integrated into a geographic information system (GIS) environment, giving a potentially sharable source of information for planning purposes. The obtained maps represent a metric of one of the possible intrinsic environmental vulnerability factors for the area under study. Consequently, this method can represent a future instrument for determining the intrinsic environmental vulnerability dependent on landslides within an environmental impact assessment (EIA), as required by the most recent European regulation on EIA. Moreover, the shared information can be used to implement informed policy and planning processes, based on a bottom-up approach. In particular, the availability online of landslide susceptibility maps could support the generation of augmented information—useful for both local administrators and planners as well as for stakeholders willing to implement specific projects or infrastructure in vulnerable areas, such as mountains. View Full-Text
Keywords: landslide susceptibility; GIS; environmental vulnerability; environmental impact assessment; mountain landslide susceptibility; GIS; environmental vulnerability; environmental impact assessment; mountain
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Turconi, L.; Luino, F.; Gussoni, M.; Faccini, F.; Giardino, M.; Casazza, M. Intrinsic Environmental Vulnerability as Shallow Landslide Susceptibility in Environmental Impact Assessment. Sustainability 2019, 11, 6285.

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