Landslides are one of the most damaging disastrous phenomena that frequently lead to serious problems in hilly areas. The Namchi region of South Sikkim district as a part of Eastern Himalayas is not an exception to it. In the present study, multi-criteria analysis technique is used for landslide hazard zonation mapping. Various thematic layers, namely slope, rainfall distribution map, lineament density, drainage density, slope aspect, geology, land use/land cover and soil map, were integrated in a GIS platform (ArcGIS 10.1) to delineate landslide hazard zone. Analytic hierarchy process was used to determine the weight values of different factors. Relative rating values are assigned for the subclasses of each thematic layer based on their corresponding impact on the landslide triggers, and within a thematic layer, each class was assigned an ordinal rating from 0 to 9. The landslide hazard zonation map of Namchi region was produced based on weighted overly techniques. The landslide hazard map of Namchi region is divided into five vulnerable zones, namely very low-, low-, moderate-, high- and very high-hazard zones. Resulted landslide hazard zonation map was further validated with field study and geospatial technology-based analysis. The findings demonstrate high-landslide-hazard zones are associated with areas of active erosive processes (steep slopes/cut slopes/lineaments). The results indicate the villages Bomtar, Jorethang, Kopchey, Donok, Namthang, Sumbuk, Longchok, Mamring, Turung, Mikkhola, etc. are highly prone to landslides. The final landslide hazard zonation map can be used for the landslide hazard prevention, proper planning of future infrastructure and geoenvironmental development in Namchi region.
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The authors are thankful to the Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) for continuous support during the work. We are thankful to Dr. Vladimír Schenk (Editor in Chief, Natural Hazards) for suggesting modifications, which improved our manuscript. The authors also extend their thanks to anonymous reviewers for the valuable comments and suggestions.
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Conflict of interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
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