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Title:Probabilistic Modeling of Landslide Hazards to Improve the Resilience of Transportation Infrastructure
Authors:Elizabeth Byron and Peter Nelson
University:Colorado State University
Publication Date:Jul 2023
Report #:MPC-23-500
Project #:MPC-593
TRID #:01889792
Keywords:climate change, forecasting, landslides, Monte Carlo method, slope stability


Precipitation-induced landslides pose risks to humans through property damage, disruption of infrastructure, injury, and loss of life. These risks may be altered by climate change, as changes in vegetation cover and associated root cohesion might lead to a change in areas susceptible to landslides. We investigate this possibility through Monte Carlo simulations of slope stability in the Colorado Front Range, where climate change is expected to significantly change vegetation cover across the landscape. Climate change simulations predict an overall increase in the areas susceptible to landslides and a shift to more instability on north-facing slopes. Our study suggests that vegetation changes due to climate change could result in major shifts in the people and infrastructure susceptible to landslides.

We also apply a landslide runout model to a large spatial scale to determine whether simplified assumptions using easily accessible data can provide realistic estimates of landslide stopping locations. We consider stopping rules using slope, curvature, and travel distance and find that a combination of a critical angle and a distance the landslide must maintain beneath the critical angle best predicts stopping locations in our study area.

How to Cite

Byron, Elizabeth, and Peter Nelson. Probabilistic Modeling of Landslide Hazards to Improve the Resilience of Transportation Infrastructure, MPC-23-500. North Dakota State University - Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute, Fargo: Mountain-Plains Consortium, 2023.

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050