Landslide Susceptibility Zonation Using Statistical and Machine Learning Approaches in Northern Lecco, Italy



This study deals with landslide susceptibility mapping in the northern part of Lecco Province, Lombardy Region, Italy. In so doing, a valid landslide inventory map and thirteen conditioning factors (including elevation, slope aspect, slope degree, plan curvature, profile curvature, distance to waterway, distance to road, distance to fault, soil type, land use, lithology, stream power index, and topographic wetness index) form the spatial database within geographic information system (GIS). The used evaluative models comprise a bivariate statistical approach called frequency ratio (FR) and two machine learning tools, namely multi-layer perceptron neural network (MLPNN) and adaptive neuro-fuzzy inference system (ANFIS). These models first use landslide and non-landslide records for comprehending the relationship between the landslide occurrence and conditioning factors. Then landslide susceptibility values are predicted for the whole area. The accuracy of the produced susceptibility maps is measured using area under the curve (AUC) index, according to which, the MLPNN (AUC = 0.916) presented the most accurate map, followed by the FR (AUC = 0. 898) and ANFIS (AUC = 0.889). Visual interpretation of the susceptibility maps, FR-based correlation analysis, as well as the importance assessment of conditioning factors, all indicated the significant contribution of the road networks to the crucial susceptibility of landslide. Lastly, an explicit predictive formula is extracted from the implemented MLPNN model for a convenient approximation of landslide susceptibility value.

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