Probabilistic Modeling of Landslide Hazards to Improve the Resilience of Transportation Infrastructure

Monday, August 21, 2023 - 17:00

Precipitation-induced landslides pose risks to humans through property damage, disruption of infrastructure, injury, and loss of life. These risks may be altered by climate change, as changes in vegetation cover and associated root cohesion might lead to a change in areas susceptible to landslides. We investigate this possibility through Monte Carlo simulations of slope stability in the Colorado Front Range, where climate change is expected to significantly change vegetation cover across the landscape. Climate change simulations predict an overall increase in the area susceptible to landslides and a shift to more instability on north-facing slopes. Our study suggests that vegetation changes due to climate change could result in major shifts in the people and infrastructure susceptible to landslides. We also apply a landslide runout model to a large spatial scale to determine whether simplified assumptions using easily accessible data can provide realistic estimates of landslide stopping locations. We consider stopping rules using slope, curvature, and travel distance and find that a combination of a critical angle and a distance the landslide must maintain beneath the critical angle best predicts stopping locations in our study area. The fulll research report is available online from the Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute web site at


Thank you to our Premier Sponsors