The role of geomorphology, rainfall and soil moisture in the occurrence of landslides triggered by 2018 Typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines

Clàudia Abancó, Georgina L. Bennett, Adrian J. Matthews, Mark Anthony M. Matera, Fibor J. Tan

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Abstract

In 2018 Typhoon Mangkhut (locally known as Typhoon Ompong) triggered thousands of landslides in the Itogon region of the Philippines. A landslide inventory of the affected region is compiled for the first time, comprising 1101 landslides over a 570 km2 area. The inventory is used to study the geomorphological characteristics and land cover more prone to landsliding as well as the hydrometeorological conditions that led to widespread failure. The results showed that landslides mostly occurred on grassland and wooded slopes of clay superficial geology, predominantly facing eastsoutheast. Rainfall (Integrated Multi-satellitE Retrievals for Global Precipitation Measurement, IMERG GPM) associated with Typhoon Mangkhut is compared with 33 highintensity rainfall events that did not trigger regional landslide events in 2018. Results show that landslides occurred during high-intensity rainfall that coincided with the highest soil moisture values (estimated clays saturation point), according to Soil Moisture Active Passive level 4 (SMAP-L4) data. Our results demonstrate the potential of SMAP-L4 and GPM IMERG data for landslide hazard assessment and early warning where ground-based data are scarce. However, other rainfall events in the months leading up to Typhoon Mangkhut that had similar or higher rainfall intensities and also occurred when soils were saturated did not trigger widespread landsliding, highlighting the need for further research into the conditions that trigger landslides in typhoons.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1531-1550
Number of pages20
JournalNatural Hazards and Earth System Science
Volume21
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 May 2021

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