Antecedent precipitation as a potential proxy for landslide incidence in South West UK

Pennington, Catherine; Dijkstra, Tom; Lark, Murray; Dashwood, Claire; Harrison, Anna; Freeborough, Katy. 2014 Antecedent precipitation as a potential proxy for landslide incidence in South West UK. In: Sassa, Kyoji; Canuti, Paolo; Yin, Yueping, (eds.) Landslide Science for a Safer Geoenvironment. Vol.1, the International Programme on Landslides (IPL). Springer, 253-259. (Landslide Science for a Safer Geoenvironment: Vol.1: The International Programme on Landslides (IPL)).

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This paper considers the effects of antecedent precipitation on landslide incidence in the UK. During 2012-2013 an extraordinary amount of precipitation resulted in an increase in the number of landslides reported in the UK, highlighting the importance of hydrogeological triggering. Slope failures (landslides on engineered slopes) in particular caused widespread disruption to transport services and damage to property. SW England and S Wales were most affected. Easy-to-use and accessible indicators of potential landslide activity are required for planning, preparedness and response and therefore analyses have been carried out to determine whether antecedent effective precipitation can be used as a proxy for landslide incidence. It is shown that for all landslides long-term antecedent precipitation provides an important preparatory factor and that relatively small landslides, such as slope failures, occur within a short period of time following subsequent heavy precipitation. Deep-seated, rotational landslides have a longer response time as their pathway to instability follows a much more complex hydrogeological response. Statistical analyses of the BGS landslide database and of weather records has enabled determination of the probability of at least one landslide occurring based on antecedent precipitation signals for SW England and S Wales. This ongoing research is of part of a suite of analyses to provide tools to identify the likelihood of regional landslides occurrence in the UK.

Item Type: Publication - Book Section
Date made live: 05 Oct 2016 08:08 +0 (UTC)

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