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Determination of Rainfall Thresholds for Landslide Prediction Using an Algorithm-Based Approach: Case Study in the Darjeeling Himalayas, India

Indian Institute of Technology Indore, Indore 452020, India
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Geosciences 2019, 9(7), 302;
Received: 12 April 2019 / Revised: 28 May 2019 / Accepted: 1 June 2019 / Published: 10 July 2019
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Landslides are one of the most devastating and commonly recurring natural hazards in the Indian Himalayas. They contribute to infrastructure damage, land loss and human casualties. Most of the landslides are primarily rainfall-induced and the relationship has been well very well-established, having been commonly defined using empirical-based models which use statistical approaches to determine the parameters of a power-law equation. One of the main drawbacks using the traditional empirical methods is that it fails to reduce the uncertainties associated with threshold calculation. The present study overcomes these limitations by identifying the precipitation condition responsible for landslide occurrence using an algorithm-based model. The methodology involves the use of an automated tool which determines cumulated event rainfall–rainfall duration thresholds at various exceedance probabilities and the associated uncertainties. The analysis has been carried out for the Kalimpong Region of the Darjeeling Himalayas using rainfall and landslide data for the period 2010–2016. The results signify that a rainfall event of 48 hours with a cumulated event rainfall of 36.7 mm can cause landslides in the study area. Such a study is the first to be conducted for the Indian Himalayas and can be considered as a first step in determining more reliable thresholds which can be used as part of an operational early-warning system. View Full-Text
Keywords: rainfall thresholds; Kalimpong; Darjeeling Himalayas rainfall thresholds; Kalimpong; Darjeeling Himalayas

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Teja, T.S.; Dikshit, A.; Satyam, N. Determination of Rainfall Thresholds for Landslide Prediction Using an Algorithm-Based Approach: Case Study in the Darjeeling Himalayas, India. Geosciences 2019, 9, 302.

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