Landslide hazard and risk

Institution: DSTA (UNIPV)

Major: Hyris

Instructor: Claudia Meisina (, Bordoni Massimiliano (

CFU: 6


Duration: available here

Schedule: available here

Office hours: by appointment




Scope of the course is to introduce the student to recognize and characterize different types of slope instabilities and to be able to use tools for the landslide hazard and risk assessment, to select techniques for monitoring and mitigation of landslide risk.

The course consists of lectures to illustrate the theory and tutorial sessions where the emphasis is on applications and problem solving. Each subject is illustrated with the support of experimental and observational evidences and well-documented case histories concerning landslide hazard and risks drawn from the experience of the instructors. Moreover, the course is inserted in the frame of the topics of the sustainability, as defined in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in particular in the following goals: Goal #13 Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.



Landslide terminologies and classifications. Landslide dynamics. Predisposing and triggering factors, landslide occurrence as a consequence of land use and climate changes. Methodologies of landslide investigation and mapping, landslide inventories.

Landslide monitoring and early warning: ground-based and remote surface displacements measurement techniques, monitoring of hydro-meteorological variables. Rainfall threshold for landslide prediction. Landslide mitigation: structural and non-structural protection, approaches following the sustainable development as promoted by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Lesson learnt from some case histories.

Deterministic methods for the evaluation of the landslides susceptibility and hazard: yield criterion of the materials, slope safety factor, limit equilibrium analysis, stability charts, methods of slices, physically-based models

Probabilistic methods for the evaluation of the landslides susceptibility and hazard: uncertainties in the computation of slope safety factor, probabilistic methodologies

Numerical methods for the evaluation of landslides susceptibility and hazard: continuum methods, non-continuum methods, shear strength reduction method, concept of local safety factor

Knowledge-driven and data-driven methods for the evaluation of landslides susceptibility and hazard

Methodologies for the assessment of the model reliability and its validation

Landslides risk analysis: basic concepts of landslides risk, estimation of risk, landslides risk management, landslides risk mitigation in the frame of the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.



Basic knowledge of Engineering Geology


  1. N. Lu, J.W. Godt. Hillslope hydrology and stability. Cambridge University Press..
  2. Lynn M. Highland, United States Geological Survey, and Peter Bobrowsky, Geological Survey of Canada (2008). The Landslide Handbook—A Guide to Understanding Landslides. USGS Circular 1325. Reference textbook.
  3. Landslides: Investigation and Mitigation : Special Report 247 (Special Report (National Research Council (U S) Transportation Research Board)) by A. Keith Turner (Editor), Robert L. Schuster (Editor). Reference textbook.
  4. Thomas Glade, Malcolm Anderson, Michael J. Crozier (2005). Landslide Hazard and Risk. John Wiley & Sons, 15 apr 2005 – 802 pagine. Reference textbook.
  5. Course notes, scientific articles and other material will be provided during the course.



Assignments will be handed over and graded during the course. The final examination will consist of a 3 hours, written test. The final-exam format is closed-book. Grading: 40% assignments, 60% final exam.