This paper reports the use of a GIS based Probabilistic Certainty Factor method to assess the geo-environmental factors that contribute to landslide susceptibility in Tevankarai Ar sub-watershed, Kodaikkanal. Landslide occurrences are a common phenomenon in the Tevankarai Ar sub-watershed, Kodaikkanal owing to rugged terrain at high altitude, high frequency of intense rainfall and rapidly expanding urban growth. The spatial database of the factors influencing landslides are compiled primarily from topographical maps, aerial photographs and satellite images. They are relief, slope, aspect, curvature, weathering, soil, land use, proximity to road and proximity to drainage. Certainty Factor Approach is used to study the interaction between the factors and the landslide, highlighting the importance of each factor in causing landslide. The results show that slope, aspect, soil and proximity to roads play important role in landslide susceptibility. The landslide susceptibility map is classified into five susceptible classes – low, very low, uncertain, high and very high − 93.32% of the study area falls under the stable category and 6.34% falls under the highly and very highly unstable category. The relative landslide density index (R index) is used to validate the landslide susceptibility map. R index increases with the increase in the susceptibility class. This shows that the factors selected for the study and susceptibility mapping using certainty factor are appropriate for the study area. Highly unstable zones show intense anthropogenic activities like high density settlement areas, and busy roads connecting the hill town and the plains.
Landslide susceptibility certainty factor probabilistic model landslide density index Kodaikkanal India
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