Empirical thresholds indicating the meteorological conditions leading to shallow landslide triggering are one of the most important components of landslide early warning systems (LEWS). Thresholds have been determined for many parts of the globe and present significant margins of improvement, especially for the high number of false alarms they produce. The use of soil moisture information to define hydro-meteorological thresholds is a potential way of improvement. Such information is becoming increasingly available from remote sensing and sensor networks, but to date, there is a lack of studies that quantify the possible improvement of the performance of LEWS. In this study, we investigate this issue by modelling the response of slopes to precipitations, introducing also the possible influence of uncertainty in soil moisture provided by either field sensors or remote sensing, and investigating various soil depths at which the information may be available. Results show that soil moisture information introduced within hydro-meteorological thresholds can significantly reduce the false alarm ratio of LEWS, while keeping at least unvaried the number of missed alarms. The degree of improvement is particularly significant in the case of soils with small water storage capacity.
- Early warning system
- Hydro-meteorological thresholds
- Hydrological cause
- Landslide hazard and risk management
- Rainfall-induced landslide
- Shallow landslide
- Triggering rainfall event