Geophysical investigation to improve the landslide susceptibility analysis, Kerala, India

Status: Complete

This project came about after the southern Indian state, Kerala, experienced >140% rain than normal, during 1-20 August 2018. >1 million people were displaced, 483 were declared dead, and over 1300 landslides affected bridges and roads cutting off towns, villages, and communities’ livelihoods.

The main objective of this project is to improve landslide hazard analysis in the district of Idukki, Kerala by using applied geoscience techniques such as Electric Resistivity Survey (ERS), rain gauge network and a landslide hazard nowcasting system to provide warning to the communities in extreme rainfall events and help 1.1 million people in 4150 sq km or 1602.3 sq miles. 21 rain gauges’ installation improved the landslide detection capabilities in the study area; the slope stability model and rainfall threshold model have been combined to develop a Landslide Early Warning System (LEWS). Google Earth Engine (GEE), which was chosen due to the near real time availability of rainfall and weather forecast data and its easy accessibility, hosts this LEWS.

This newly developed system will be maintained by the University of Kerala in coordination with the Kerala State Disaster Management Authority (KSDMA).

Project Partners

Michigan Technological University, USA and three Indian institutions- the University of Kerala, Munnar College of Engineering, and Tata Institute of Social Sciences, and several professional and community organizations.

UNSDGs addressed

Goal 11 (Sustainable cities and communities), Goal 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure) and Goal 17 (Partnerships for goals)