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National‐Scale Rainfall‐Triggered Landslide Susceptibility and Exposure in Nepal

Kincey, M. E.; Rosser, N. J.; Swirad, Z. M.; Robinson, T. R.; Shrestha, R.; Pujara, D. S.; Basyal, G. K.; Densmore, A. L.; Arrell, K.; Oven, K. J.; Dunant, A.

National‐Scale Rainfall‐Triggered Landslide Susceptibility and Exposure in Nepal Thumbnail


M. E. Kincey

Z. M. Swirad

T. R. Robinson

R. Shrestha

D. S. Pujara

G. K. Basyal

K. Arrell

K. J. Oven


Nepal is one of the most landslide‐prone countries in the world, with year‐on‐year impacts resulting in loss of life and imposing a chronic impediment to sustainable livelihoods. Living with landslides is a daily reality for an increasing number of people, so establishing the nature of landslide hazard and risk is essential. Here we develop a model of landslide susceptibility for Nepal and use this to generate a nationwide geographical profile of exposure to rainfall‐triggered landslides. We model landslide susceptibility using a fuzzy overlay approach based on freely‐available topographic data, trained on an inventory of mapped landslides, and combine this with high resolution population and building data to describe the spatial distribution of exposure to landslides. We find that whilst landslide susceptibility is highest in the High Himalaya, exposure is highest within the Middle Hills, but this is highly spatially variable and skewed to on average relatively low values. Around 4 × 106 Nepalis (∼15% of the population) live in areas considered to be at moderate or higher degree of exposure to landsliding (>0.25 of the maximum), and critically this number is highly sensitive to even small variations in landslide susceptibility. Our results show a complex relationship between landslides and buildings, that implies wider complexity in the association between physical exposure to landslides and poverty. This analysis for the first time brings into focus the geography of the landslide exposure and risk case load in Nepal, and demonstrates limitations of assessing future risk based on limited records of previous events.


Kincey, M. E., Rosser, N. J., Swirad, Z. M., Robinson, T. R., Shrestha, R., Pujara, D. S., …Dunant, A. (2024). National‐Scale Rainfall‐Triggered Landslide Susceptibility and Exposure in Nepal. Earth's Future, 12(2), Article e2023EF004102.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 7, 2024
Online Publication Date Feb 2, 2024
Publication Date 2024-02
Deposit Date Feb 5, 2024
Publicly Available Date Feb 5, 2024
Journal Earth's Future
Publisher Wiley Open Access
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 12
Issue 2
Article Number e2023EF004102
Public URL


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