• Released Saturday, January 1st, 2000
  • Updated Thursday, March 22nd, 2018 at 12:00AM


Landslides are one of the most pervasive hazards in the world, resulting in more fatalities and economic damage than is generally recognized. Intense and prolonged rainfall is the most frequent landslide trigger, saturating the soil on vulnerable slopes; but earthquakes, temperature, and human activities can also cause landslides. Understanding the land and weather conditions that lead to landslides on larger scales or within developing countries is often difficult because of the lack of ground-based sensors at the landslide site to provide rainfall information. Satellite data can play a key role in better understanding how the surface and rainfall may cause landslides, looking at changes over the last day or the last decade.

Landslide Climatology

A new model has been developed to look at how potential landslide activity is changing around the world. A global Landslide Hazard Assessment model for Situational Awareness (LHASA) has been developed to provide an indication of where and when landslides may be likely around the world every 30min. This model uses surface susceptibility (including slope, vegetation, road networks, geology, and forest cover loss) and satellite rainfall data from the Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) mission to provide moderate to high “nowcasts.” This visualization shows the landslide nowcast results leveraging nearly two decades of Tropical Rainfall Measurement Mission (TRMM) rainfall over 2001-2016 to identify a landslide climatology by month at a 1 km grid cell. The average nowcast values by month highlight the key landslide hotspots, such as the Southeast Asia during the monsoon season in June through August and the U.S. Pacific Northwest in December and January.

Additional Data Visualizations