Geoinformatic analysis of rainfall-triggered landslides in Crete (Greece) based on spatial detection and hazard mapping

Athanasios V. Argyriou, Christos Polykretis, Richard M. Teeuw, Nikos Papadopoulos

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Among several natural and anthropogenic conditioning factors that control slope instability, heavy rainfall is a key factor in terms of triggering landslide events. In the Mediterranean region, Crete suffers the frequent occurrence of heavy rainstorms that act as a triggering mechanism for landslides. The Mediterranean island of Crete suffers from frequent occurrences of heavy rainstorms, which often trigger landslides. Therefore, the spatial and temporal study of recent storm/landslide events and the projection of potential future events is crucial for long-term sustainable land use in Crete and Mediterranean landscapes with similar geomorphological settings, especially with climate change likely to produce bigger and more frequent storms in this region. Geoinformatic technologies, mainly represented by remote sensing (RS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), can be valuable tools towards the analysis of such events. Considering an administrative unit of Crete (municipality of Rethymnon) for investigation, the present study focused on using RS and GIS-based approaches to: (i) detect landslides triggered by heavy rainstorms during February 2019; (ii) determine the interaction between the triggering factor of rainfall and other conditioning factors; and (iii) estimate the spatial component of a hazard map by spatially indicating the possibility for rainfall-triggered landslides when similar rainstorms take place in the future. Both landslide detection and hazard mapping outputs were validated by field surveys and empirical analysis, respectively. Based on the validation results, geoinformatic technologies can provide an ideal methodological framework for the acquisition of landslide-related knowledge, being particularly beneficial to land-use planning and decision making, as well as the organization of emergency actions by local authorities.
Original languageEnglish
Article number3956
Number of pages25
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 27 Mar 2022


  • geoinformatics
  • remote sensing
  • GIS
  • landslides
  • rainfall
  • weight of evidence
  • Crete


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