A Country Level Spatial Assessment of Landslide Susceptibility in Romania

Geomorphology, In Press, Accepted Manuscript, Available online 11 March 2010

Dan Bălteanu, Viorel Chendeş, Mihaela Sima, Petru Enciu

“The paper proposes a brief spatial analysis of landslides in Romania, completed by a landslide susceptibility model. Landslides constitute a very common geomorphic hazard in this country, mainly in the hilly regions which occupy around 30% of the Romanian territory. The landslide susceptibility assessment at national level was accomplished using a Landslide Susceptibility Index (LSI) computed in GIS, which considers and weights the main factors that control landslide activity: lithology, slope gradient, maximum rainfall in 24 hrs, land use, seismicity and local relief. Each factor was classified into 7-18 classes which were rated from 1 to 10 by means of expert judgement. A formula was devised to compute Landslide Susceptibility Index over each 100 m × 100 m pixel and the resulting values were ranked into 5 landslide susceptibility classes. This synthetic method of landslide susceptibility assessment, applied to the whole country of Romania, is an useful tool to evaluate the distribution of landslide-prone areas, as well as to validate and to enhance some results obtained in previous studies based on field research and map interpretation. The most landslide prone areas correspond to the Subcarpathians (an outer fringe of hilly terrain accompanying the Carpathians), as well as to the Moldavian Plateau in the east. The semi-quantitative approach has been validated with satisfactorily results in a particular sector using independent cartographic landslide inventories.”