Geological Engineers Create Landslide Atlas of Kerala, India

Maria J. Danford

Focused to the 1000’s of life shed in landslides, the new atlas assesses landslide
possibility in thirteen districts in the Indian point out of Kerala.

The Western Ghats trailing the western edge of India are a world-wide hotspot for biodiversity.
The southern reach of the vary extends into Kerala, the place the steep slopes, delicate
soils and large monsoon rains considerably boost the possibility of landslides.

Thomas Oommen, a professor of geological engineering at Michigan Technological College, is from Kerala, and he created the Landslide
Atlas of Kerala with colleague K.S. Sajinkumar, an assistant professor of geology
at the College of Kerala. Their do the job begun in 2016 even though Sajinkumar was a postdoctoral
fellow at Michigan Tech less than Oommen’s steering. The atlas, which gives comprehensive,
up-to-day details about landslide challenges in the point out, was prepared for practical use
by these who need it most — people on the ground in the area. Every part focuses
on a particular district and is accompanied by geographic info system (GIS) maps.

Landslide Atlas

Particles flows — muddy mixes of water, soil and organic and natural product — are the most popular
type of landslide in Kerala, generally transpiring concerning June and November, when monsoon
rains soak the landscape. Landslides can be easily brought on by human action like
farming or design, and coastal cliffs are also vulnerable.

“Kerala is an region with in depth chemical weathering and deep soils major to a
mum or dad product that is easily moved by landslides,” states Scott Burns. The Portland
State College professor, who wrote the atlas foreward, is also president of the
Global Association for Engineering Geology and the Surroundings.

“Reduction of home and decline of life are two key problems that folks of the area
are confronted with,” Burns writes, including that “regional inhabitants and final decision makers
can see the place the largest likelihood of landslides can arise in just about every area with these
superb maps.”

Steep cliffs rise above a beach next to the ocean.
Steep seaside cliffs expose thick soil layers — a item of chemical weathering popular
in tropical locations — that boost the possibility of landslides in the course of Kerala, India.
Credit score: Kiran Udayakumar

GIS-TISSA

The atlas incorporates a districtwide landslide susceptibility map, which notes critical influencing
possibility elements, main landslides and descriptions of the place they occurred, together with
big engineering jobs using area.

Oommen and Sajinkumar compiled all of the maps utilizing a new software known as GIS-TISSA.
TISSA stands for Device for Infinite Slope Balance Evaluation and was developed inside of
a GIS setting. The program’s algorithms determine how distinctive elements interact
with a single another and evaluate the landslide vulnerability of an region.

A debris flow covers a hillside, full of rocks and trees.
Weighty monsoon rains concerning June and November are the main bring about for landslides
in Kerala, India. This is a particles stream in Kothamangalam. Credit score: Sajinkumar KS

GIS-TISSA makes use of Python to interface with a single of the most extensively applied geospatial tools
in the entire world: ArcGIS. It will support the geospatial community consider landslide dangers
induced by rainfall and earthquakes by a GIS software they are previously comfy
utilizing. Oommen’s graduate scholar Jonathan Sanders and postdoctoral fellow Rudiger
Escobar-Wolf also contributed to GIS-TISSA development.

The Landslide Atlas of Kerala sets a new normal for pinpointing possibility in a landslide-prone
area and will support the inhabitants and policymakers of the point out make selections to
better mitigate life-threatening disasters.

Michigan Technological College is a general public analysis college, property to more than
7,000 pupils from fifty four countries. Established in 1885, the College offers more than
one hundred twenty undergraduate and graduate diploma plans in science and technology, engineering,
forestry, organization and economics, health and fitness professions, humanities, mathematics, and
social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Higher Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway
and is just a number of miles from Lake Top-quality.

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