Natural Hazards

, Volume 75, Issue 3, pp 2467–2487 | Cite as

Urgent landslide susceptibility assessment in the 2013 Lushan earthquake-impacted area, Sichuan Province, China

  • Zhi-hua Yang
  • Heng-xing Lan
  • Xing Gao
  • Lang-ping Li
  • Yun-shan Meng
  • Yu-ming Wu
Original Paper


The Lushan earthquake with magnitude M s 7.0 (M w 6.6, USGS) in Sichuan Province, China, triggered a large number of landslides, which seriously aggravated the earthquake’s destructive consequences. This paper mainly focuses on the methodology of the urgent landslide susceptibility assessment right after the earthquake. The detailed landslide inventory (including 5,688 landslides) is prepared by means of urgent post-earthquake landslide field survey, landslide remote sensing interpretation of multi-source remote sensing images including high-resolution unmanned aerial vehicle images and historical landslide archives. Ten remarkable causative factors for landslide occurrence have been selected to conduct the landslide susceptibility assessment, including earthquake intensity, landslide density and slope gradient. An integration assessment approach is developed to facilitate the effective urgent post-earthquake landslide susceptibility assessment using three methods: factor sensitivity analysis, analytical hierarchy process and factor-weighted overlay. Such integration can effectively reduce the subjectivity and uncertainty resulting from using single method. The validation evaluation using the area under curve suggests the landslide susceptibility assessment results have satisfactory accuracy, and the suggested methodology is effective for the urgent post-earthquake landslide susceptibility assessment. The study results reveal that earthquake intensity and slope gradient are the two most important causative factors for post-earthquake landslide occurrence in the Lushan earthquake-impacted area. The dominant slope gradient and slope aspect with relatively higher landslide frequency are 45°–50° and south-east direction, respectively. The intense earthquake impact increased the dominant slope gradient of landslide spatial distribution, and the thrust campaign of seismogenic fault with strike NE–SW made south-east direction as the dominant slope aspect of the landslide spatial distribution. The locations with very high and high landslide susceptibility are mainly distributed in the regions with higher earthquake intensity and adverse terrain conditions, such as Shuangshi town and Longmen town of Lushan county and Muping town of Baoxing county. The study results are expected to provide a beneficial reference for the landslide prevention and infrastructure reconstruction after the Lushan earthquake.


Lushan earthquake Landslide susceptibility GIS Factor sensitivity analysis AHP Factor-weighted overlay 



This research was supported by the National Science Foundation of China (41072241, 41272354) and the One Hundred Talents Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (A1055). The authors also wish to acknowledge the Chengdu University of Technology for providing landslide data and the China Centre for Resources Satellite Data and Application for providing remote sensing data.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Zhi-hua Yang
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Heng-xing Lan
    • 2
  • Xing Gao
    • 2
  • Lang-ping Li
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yun-shan Meng
    • 2
    • 3
  • Yu-ming Wu
    • 2
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute of GeomechanicsChinese Academy of Geological SciencesBeijingChina
  2. 2.State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources ResearchChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.University of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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