Case Study Taiwan

Important controls on evolution of landscapes are the spatial and temporal distribution of shallow landslides. Taiwan is one of the world’s most landslide-hazardous regions. High tectonic activity combined with a subtropical typhoon-climate trigger rapid mass-wasting.


Rainfall induced landslides and associated debris flows cause an increasingly recognized hazard. Sediments entering streams form a threat to drinking water reservoirs and debris flows cause damage to properties and take lives every year. Increasing human pressure on upland landscapes necessitates development of objective methods for locating sites sensitive to landslide-induced debris flows.

LAPSUS Application

Objective of this research is to predict potential locations of rainfall induced landslides in a sub-watershed in the Shihmen Reservoir Watershed, northern Taiwan, and to study the influence of landslides on landscape evolution with LAPSUS-LS. Subsequently, with a model harmonized to the local system the influence of road construction on landslide potential is investigated.


Given its limitations and assumptions the model shows to be able to deal with topographic heterogeneity and on- and off-site effects of natural or artificial changes in hillslope morphology. Promising results are obtained when comparing site stability with predicted relative failure potential. Insight is obtained into the influence of road construction on slope stability and thus landslide risk. However, limitations that arise from data uncertainty, data handling in a GIS environment and simplifications inherent to landscape modeling affect results and cause dissimilarities between prediction and reality.


  • Kang-Tsung Chang, Shou-Hao Chiang and Mei-Ling Hsu, 2007. Modeling typhoon- and earthquake-induced landslides in a mountainous watershed using logistic regression Geomorphology, Volume 89, Issues 3-4, 335-347.
  • Kang-tsung Chang, Shou-Hao Chiang, Feng Lei, 2007. Analysing the Relationship Between Typhoon-Triggered Landslides and Critical Rainfall Conditions. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. Early View
  • Claessens, L., Schoorl, J.M. and A. Veldkamp. 2007. Modelling the location of shallow landslides and their effects on landscape dynamics in large watersheds: an application for Northern New Zealand. Geomorphology, Volume 87, Issues 1-2, p 16 – 27.
  • M.H.A. Braakhekke, 2007: Landslides under Construction, modelling controls on slope stability in a mountainous watershed, Taiwan. Thesis report.

» more LAPSUS Publications.

In cooperation with:

Prof. Dr. Ir. A. Veldkamp
ITC, University Twente

Prof. K. Chang (National Taiwan University)
Kainan University

Future research

In 2008 a new project will start in collaboration with National Taiwan University and Kainan University.