Landslide Inventories in the European Alps and their applicability and use in Climate Change Studies.
Wood, Joanne Laura
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
Restricted access to the WSL database (confidentiality clause)
Reason for embargo
Sensitive insurance data.
Landslides present a geomorphological hazard in alpine regions, threatening life, infrastructure and property. Presented in this thesis is the development of a new Regional Landslide Inventory (RI) for the European Alps. The new inventory is used to investigate links between landslide size and frequency in the European Alps and weather and climatic controls. Temperatures in the European Alps have risen by 2 C since the end of the Little Ice Age (LIA); a trend which is set to continue. Previous research has shown that past landslide clusters are centred around periods of signi ficant climate change, thus understanding how this translates to the current warming trend is important both for communities living in the European Alps and for the insurance industry. The RI compiled here, provides a substantial temporal and spatial picture of landsliding in the Alps; with particular focus on the Swiss and French Alps. The temporal distribution and estimates of completeness were tested through the use of segmented models, scaling relationships and area-frequency distributions; the post-1970 portion of the database is considered most complete, although underestimating the frequency of medium-sized landslides. Analysis of the RI in the context of synoptic weather types demonstrates that high precipitation over the European Alps is consistent with higher landslide frequencies. Whilst analysis with climate data show that annual landslide frequencies are correlated with changes in precipitation and temperature across the European Alps; accounting for up to 35% of the seasonal variation in landslide frequency.
Lloyd's of London
Wood, J.L., Harrison, S. Turkington, T.A.R and Reinhardt, L. (2016). Landslides and synoptic weather trends in the European Alps. Climatic Change, 136(2), 297-308. doi: 10.1007/s10584-016-1623-3.
Wood, J.L., Harrison, S. and Reinhardt, L. (2015). Landslide Inventories for Climate Impacts Research in the European Alps. Geomorphology 228, 398-408. doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2014.09.005
Wood, J.L., Harrison, S., Reinhardt, L. and Turkington, T.A.R. (2013). Mass movement inventories for climate research in the European Alps. AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts, NH21A-1508. Presented at the AGU Fall Meeting, San Francisco, Dec 2013
Wood, J.L. (2011). Landslide risk and Climate Change in the European Alps. Report for Lloyds’ of London, available online: http://www.lloyds.com/
PhD in Geography