Relationship between man-made environment and slope stability: the case of 2014 rainfall events in the terraced landscape of the Liguria region (northwestern Italy)

<p>In the autumn of 2014, a series of rainfall events affected several sectors of the Liguria region, triggering many shallow landslides and causing three casualties and severe structural damages. The most intensely unstable area covered 385 km<sup>2</sup>, in which more than 1600 landslides have been identified. After these events, an airborne Light Detection and Ranging survey was carried out. The survey yielded a high-resolution digital terrain model (DTM) and aerial images that provided a means of identifying and mapping all the occurred landslides. The distribution analysis of slope instabilities highlighted the link with various human activities. In fact, the majority of the detected landslides occurred in man-modified areas. Geospatial and statistical analyses provided the identification of three main anthropic factors: terraces, their level of maintenance and road network. Moreover, they quantified their role in landslide triggering. These factors were not analysed as separate elements, but as a continuous process, overlapping in time, in man-made influence on landscape. The identification of such factors is a key element for a correct behaviour characterization of this landscape towards extreme flash floods events. </p>