First-Approximation Landslide Inventory Maps for Northern Pakistan, using ASTER DEM Data and Geomorphic Indicators


The compilation of a landslide inventory is a good thing to do before undertaking more detailed work in landslide-prone areas. Remotely sensed data and geographic information system (GIS) software can be combined and manipulated to prepare reconnaissancelevel landslide inventory maps at relatively low cost. The landslide mapping technique developed for this research began by constructing a stitched shaded topographic map of the Indus River watershed, using regional topographic maps with 40 m contours, combined with ASTER digital elevation model (DEM) data of 30 m resolution. Topographic recognition keys were then employed to aid in the visual identification and delineation of anomalous topography, suggestive of past land slippage. Hundreds of landslide-related features were mapped along the main stem of the Indus River in the Greater Himalaya Mountains, upstream of Tarbela Dam and Reservoir. Most of the mapped features appear to be composite and complex landslides, developed in the parent bedrock units. The hillshade topographic mapping technique helps geologists to identify and map active, dormant, and prehistoric landslide features on a regional scale. The main challenge for this landslide inventory map was the scarcity of available data for the region. The aim of this study was to provide a reconnaissance-scale hazard map intended to provide a qualitative, first-order inventory of landslides and related mass-wasting features that are subject to field verification.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

ASTER DEM; GIS; Landslide Inventory; Remote Sensing; Shaded Topographic Maps; Watershed

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Article - Journal

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© 2014 Geological Society of America (GSA), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Feb 2014