Characterization and quantification of path dependency in landslide susceptibility

Jalal Samia*, Arnaud Temme, Arnold Bregt, Jakob Wallinga, Fausto Guzzetti, Francesca Ardizzone, Mauro Rossi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

56 Citations (Scopus)


Landslides cause major environmental damage, economic losses and casualties. Although susceptibility to landsliding is usually considered an exclusively location-specific phenomenon, indications exist that landslide history co-determines susceptibility to future landslides. In this contribution, we quantified the role of landslide path dependency (the effect of landslides on landslides) using a multi-temporal landslide inventory from Italy. The fraction of landslides following earlier landslides in the same location exhibited an exponential decay, with susceptibility increasing 15-fold right after an initial landslide, and returning to pre-landslide values after about 25 years. We investigated the role of the geometry and location of a previous landslide for the occurrence of follow-up landslides. Larger landslides are more likely to cause follow-up landslides. Also landslide shape, topographic wetness index, the vertical distance to the nearest channel network, the absolute profile curvature and relative slope position of an earlier landslide, however, are important in predicting whether a follow-up landslide occurs. Combined in a binary logistic model, these attributes correctly predict 60% of times whether a landslide will be followed-up. These findings open the way for time-variant mapping of susceptibility to landslides, by including the effect of the spatio-temporal history of landsliding on susceptibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-24
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Follow-up landslides
  • Landslide geometry
  • Multi-temporal landslide inventory
  • Path dependency
  • Time-variant susceptibility


Dive into the research topics of 'Characterization and quantification of path dependency in landslide susceptibility'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this