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Title: Landslide inventories in the European Alps and their applicability and use in climate change studies
Author: Wood, Joanne Laura
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 0417
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2016
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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.
Supervisor: Harrison, Stephan ; Reinhardt, Liam Sponsor: Lloyd's of London
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Landslides ; Climate Change ; Risk ; Synoptic Weather ; Power-law