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Temporal stability and activity of landslides in Europe with respect to climatic change


To develop criteria for the recognition of relict landslides
and reconstructing past distributions of landslide incidents and
their relationship to climatic change parameters. To develop
qualitative evolution models and hydrological and slope stability
modelling for the prediction of landslide activity with test site

The purpose of the project is to give more emphasis to the
temporal stability and activity of landslides with respect to the
impacts of a changing climate in Europe. Currently available
information on landslides does not normally give either the
quantitative characteristics or the physical background of the
temporal movement patterns of the past. It is, therefore,
difficult to indicate, in a reliable way, future patterns of
activity. A more detailed diagnosis of activity requires better
historical data and field observations, as well as methods of
modelling and analysis.

The project methodology will employ a combination of
photographic, cartographic, morphometric and topographic surface
movement analyses in order to provide characteristic criteria for
the recognition of landslides. The work of the EPOCH project
"The temporal occurrence and forecasting of landsliding in the
European Community" contract no. EPOC- CT90-0025 will be
continued by further reconstructions of past distributions of
landslide incidents. This will include geomorphological mapping,
a variety of dating techniques including dendrochronological,
lichenometric and radiometric methods, analysis of climatic data,
time series analysis and standard chronostratigraphic techniques.
This is necessary to improve calibration techniques. These will
be used for the modelling framework for the prediction of
landslide activity. The project will then attempt to link
climatic change model outputs to modern methods of slope
stability analysis using hillslope hydrology and groundwater

Deliverable products will be a set of European guidelines to the
recognition of relict landslides. This will consist of a manual
of landslide characteristics and mapping techniques designed for
non-specialist use (e.g. planners, architects, engineers).
Further deliverables are records of relict landslide activity and
a modelling framework with test site examples.

The results of the research will give support to planning
activities on a European level because it will improve the
ability to predict future landslide activity, the understanding
of the climatic causes of fluctuations in slope stability and the
key variables controlling the activity of landslides.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg
Im Neuenheimer Feld 348
69120 Heidelberg

Participants (5)

Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR)
Via Giuseppe Verdi 1
87030 Commenda Di Rende Cosenza
United Kingdom
WC2R 2LS London
Rijksuniversiteit Utrecht
3508 TC Utrecht
Universidad de Cantabria
Av. De Los Castros S/n
39005 Santander
Université de Strasbourg I (Université Louis Pasteur)
3 Rue De L'argonne
67083 Strasbourg