Risk Assessment and Advance Warning Project for Landslides in Brazil

Geoscientists Without Borders
Landslide Preparedness Projects

This multi-disciplinary project brought together geophysical, civil engineering and meteorological data to study, classify and monitor areas that pose a high risk of landslides in the Rio de Janeiro state of Brazil.

Every year, many states in Brazil suffer severe socioeconomic problems due to landslides and floods caused by heavy rain and resulting ground saturation. During the rainy season, residents of slums and hillsides in Brazil are put on alert as landslides, floods, and outbreaks of leptospirosis occur (especially in the regions lacking infrastructure and basic sanitation), leading to the tragic loss of thousands of lives. In addition, these disasters cause widespread infrastructure damage.

There are a number of government programs created across Brazil to deal with both the technical and humanitarian aspects of the landslides issue. However, new areas of risk develop faster than the government can implement these programs, which results in new tragedies occurring every year in the country.

Status Complete

Statement of Work

Results were shared with State and local authorities. Awareness and emergency preparedness training was conducted with local residents and geohazards detection systems installed.

Internships between the universities continue.

Local universities are continuing to study landslide prone regions throughout Brazil. Their technical expertise is shared with government agencies, often short of resources.

Principal Investigator

De Aibing Li, University of Houston  
GeoHazards International

Technical Investigators

Laura Azevedo – University of Houston and Maria Gabriela Silva - MIT

Team members

University of Houston – Dr Andre Ferreira, Dr Stuart Hall
Massachusetts Institute of Technology: Dr Ken Ferrier, Dr Taylor Perron, Paul Richardson
Universidad Estadual de Rio de Janeiro – Dr Webe Mansur, Dr Nelson Fernandes, Dr Otto Rotunno, Dr Claudio Mahler
Universidade Federal Fluminense – Dr Celverson Guizan Silva, Dr Marco Cetale, Dr Adalberto da Sliva, Dr Guilherme Borges Fernandez
Universidade Estadual de Campinos – Dr jorg Schleicher, Dr Maria Amelia Novais Schleicher
Universidade Federal do Para –Dr Jesse Carvalho Costa
Instituto Nacional de Pesquisa Espacial – Jose Roberto Garcia
Ordem dos Advogados do Brasil – Dr Maira Fernandes
ON TARGET – Jefferson Nascimento


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