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Shallow landslides and vegetation at the catchment scale: A perspective

Phillips, Chris, Hales, Tristram ORCID:, Smith, Hugh and Basher, Les 2021. Shallow landslides and vegetation at the catchment scale: A perspective. Ecological Engineering 173 , 106436. 10.1016/j.ecoleng.2021.106436

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Shallow, rainfall-triggered landslides are an important catchment process that affect the rate and calibre of sediment within river networks and create a significant hazard, particularly when shallow landslides transform into rapidly moving debris flows. Forests and trees modify the magnitude and rate of shallow landsliding and have been used by land managers for centuries to mitigate their effects. We understand that at the tree and slope scale root reinforcement provides a significant role in stabilising slopes, but at the catchment scale root reinforcement models only partially explain where shallow landslides are likely to occur due to the complexity of subsurface material properties and hydrology. The challenge of scaling from slopes to catchments (from 1-D to 2-D) reflects the scale gap between geomorphic process understanding and modelling, and temporal evolution of material properties. Hence, our understanding does not, as yet, provide the necessary tools to allow vegetation to be targeted most effectively for landslide reduction. This paper aims to provide a perspective on the science underpinning the challenges land and catchment managers face in trying to reduce shallow landslide hazard, manage catchment sediment budgets, and develop tools for catchment targeting of vegetation. We use our understanding of rainfall-triggered shallow landslides in New Zealand and how vegetation has been used as a tool to reduce their incidence to demonstrate key points.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0925-8574
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 28 February 2022
Date of Acceptance: 14 September 2021
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2023 13:55

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