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Enhancing Landslide Susceptibility Analysis through Citizen Science, Geospatial Analysis, and Precipitation Thresholds in Urbanizing Environments

Rohan, Tyler (2023) Enhancing Landslide Susceptibility Analysis through Citizen Science, Geospatial Analysis, and Precipitation Thresholds in Urbanizing Environments. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Landslides pose a significant threat to human life and critical infrastructure, with increasing occurrences and severity attributed to climatic and anthropogenic factors, particularly urbanization. This doctoral thesis introduces an approach to landslide susceptibility analysis that combines citizen science, geospatial analysis, and precipitation thresholds to create a framework for landslide risk assessment in urban environments. The research explores the potential of using citizen science data to develop reliable landslide susceptibility models, addressing the pressing challenge of scarce landslide location data, and offering an alternative to conventional field and remote sensing work. The research also investigates the utility of citizen science data for identifying precipitation conditions that trigger landslides, emphasizing the importance of accurate information about landslide timing and preceding precipitation conditions. Despite the inherent uncertainty in citizen science data, the research demonstrates its value for approximating triggering precipitation conditions, as it aligns with local and global thresholds based on field-validated data. Furthermore, the research examines the long-term effects of urbanization on landslide susceptibility, using digitized United States Geological Survey (USGS) maps of pre-historic and active landslides in southwest Pennsylvania. This research confirms that urbanization has a lasting impact on geophysical and hydrological conditions, increasing an area's landslide susceptibility. The study provides valuable insights into the temporal dynamics of landslide risk, which are critical for effective risk assessment and land-use planning. By addressing the potential advantages and challenges of integrating non-expert data, this approach enhances the understanding of urbanization's complex interactions with landslide susceptibility. It also provides decision-makers with a tool for implementing targeted risk reduction measures, ultimately contributing to more effective risk management and land-use planning. This doctoral thesis thus paves the way for future research on the integration of citizen science data in natural hazard assessment and highlights the importance of interdisciplinary approaches for addressing the increasing challenges posed by natural hazards in a rapidly urbanizing world.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Rohan, Tylertjr68@pitt.edutjr680000-0001-9242-7252
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairShelef, Eitanshelef@pitt.edushelef0000-0003-0672-5144
Committee MemberBain, Danieldbain@pitt.edudbain0000-0003-1979-7016
Committee MemberRamsey, Michaelmramsey@pitt.edumramsey0000-0001-8911-9187
Committee MemberWerne, Josefjwerne@pitt.edujwerne0000-0002-7019-6024
Committee MemberIannacchione, Anthonyati2@pitt.eduati20000-0001-9188-5331
Date: 6 September 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 15 May 2023
Approval Date: 6 September 2023
Submission Date: 3 August 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 145
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Geology and Environmental Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Landslides, Citizen Science, Susceptibility, Risk Analysis
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2023 19:18
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2023 19:18


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