Recent advancements of landslide hydrology

Roberto Greco, Pasquale Marino, Thom A. Bogaard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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Occurrence of rainfall-induced landslides is increasing worldwide, owing to land use and climate changes. Although the connection between hydrology and rainfall-induced landslides might seem obvious, hydrological processes have been only marginally considered in landslide research for decades. In 2016, an advanced review paper published in WIREs Water [Bogaard and Greco (2016), WIREs Water, 3(3), 439–459] pointed out several challenging issues for landslide hydrology research: considering large-scale hydrological processes in the assessment of slope water balance; including antecedent hydrological information in landslide hazard assessment; understanding and quantifying the feedbacks between deformation and infiltration/drainage processes; overcoming the conceptual mismatch of soil mechanics models and hydrological models. While little progress has been made on the latter two issues, a variety of studies have been published, focusing on the role of hydrological processes in landslide initiation and prediction. The importance of the identification of the origin of water to understand the processes leading to landslide activation is largely acknowledged. Techniques and methodologies for the definition of landslide catchments and for the assessment of landslide water balance are progressing fast, often considering the hydraulic effect of vegetation. The use of hydrological information in landslide prediction models has also progressed enormously. Empirical predictive tools, to be implemented in early warning systems for shallow landslides, benefit from the inclusion of antecedent soil moisture, extracted from different sources depending on the scale of the prediction, leading to significant improvement of their predictive skill. However, this kind of information is generally still missing in operational LEWS. This article is categorized under: Science of Water > Hydrological Processes.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1675
Number of pages23
JournalWiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • hydrology
  • lab and field experiments
  • landslide
  • landslide early warning systems
  • machine learning

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