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Journal Article

Shallow landslide susceptibility assessment under future climate and land cover changes: A case study from southwest China


Guo,  Zizheng
External Organizations;


Ferrer,  Joaquin Vicente
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research;

Hürlimann,  Marcel
External Organizations;

Medina,  Vicente
External Organizations;

Puig-Polo,  Carol
External Organizations;

Yin,  Kunlong
External Organizations;

Huang,  Da
External Organizations;

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Guo, Z., Ferrer, J. V., Hürlimann, M., Medina, V., Puig-Polo, C., Yin, K., Huang, D. (2023): Shallow landslide susceptibility assessment under future climate and land cover changes: A case study from southwest China. - Geoscience Frontiers, 14, 4, 101542.

Cite as: https://publications.pik-potsdam.de/pubman/item/item_28974
There is no doubt that land cover and climate changes have consequences on landslide activity, but it is still an open issue to assess and quantify their impacts. Wanzhou County in southwest China was selected as the test area to study rainfall-induced shallow landslide susceptibility under the future changes of land use and land cover (LULC) and climate. We used a high-resolution meteorological precipitation dataset and frequency distribution model to analyse the present extreme and antecedent rainfall conditions related to landslide activity. The future climate change factors were obtained from a 4-member multi-model ensemble that was derived from statistically downscaled regional climate simulations. The future LULC maps were simulated by the land change modeller (LCM) integrated into IDRISI Selva software. A total of six scenarios were defined by considering the rainfall (antecedent conditions and extreme events) and LULC changes towards two time periods (mid and late XXI century). A physically-based model was used to assess landslide susceptibility under these different scenarios. The results showed that the magnitude of both antecedent effective recharge and event rainfall in the region will evidently increase in the future. Under the scenario with a return period of 100 years, the antecedent rainfall in summer will increase by up to 63% whereas the event rainfall will increase by up to 54% for the late 21st century. The most considerable changes of LULC will be the increase of forest cover and the decrease of farming land. The magnitude of this change can reach + 22.1% (forest) and –9.2% (farmland) from 2010 until 2100, respectively. We found that the negative impact of climate change on landslide susceptibility is greater than the stabilizing effect of LULC change, leading to an over decrease in stability over the study area. This is one of the first studies across Asia to assess and quantify changes of regional landslide susceptibility under scenarios driven by LULC and climate change. Our results aim to guide land use planning and climate change mitigation considerations to reduce landslide risk.