Rainfall Threshold for Shallow Landslides Initiation and Analysis of Long-Term Rainfall Trends in a Mediterranean Area

Anna Roccati, Guido Paliaga, Fabio Luino, Francesco Faccini, Laura Turconi, 2020, Rainfall Threshold for Shallow Landslides Initiation and Analysis of Long-Term Rainfall Trends in a Mediterranean Area, Atmosphere (Basel) 11(12), 1367 (2020). doi_10.3390/atmos11121367,
URL: http://www.cnr.it/prodotto/i/439617

The effects of climate change on landslide activity may have important environmental, socio-economic, and political consequences. In the last decades, several short-term extreme rainfall events affected Mediterranean regions, resulted in damaging geo-hydrological processes and casualties. It is unequivocal that the impact of landslides in several Mediterranean countries is increasing with time, but until now, there has been little or no quantitative data to support these increases. In this paper, both rainfall conditions for the occurrence of shallow landslides and rainfall trends were investigated in the Portofino promontory, which extends in the Ligurian Sea, where heavy rainfall and related ground effects often occur. Adopting a frequentist approach, the empirical intensity-duration threshold was estimated. Our findings highlight that the rainfall intensity required to trigger landslides is lower for the same duration than those expected in other similar environments, suggesting a high susceptibility to rainfall-induced landslides in the Portofino territory. Further, the Mann-Kendall test and Hurst exponent were used for detecting potential trends. Analysis of long-term rainfall time series showed statistically significant increasing trends in short duration precipitation occurrence and rainfall rates, suggesting a possible future scenario with a more frequent exceedance of the threshold triggering value and an increase of landslide risk.

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