DARFLIS-Distributed quantitative risk Analysis for Rapid Flow-like Landslides induced by high Intensity Storms

Project: Research project

Project Details


The mountainous areas of the Lombardia region (Italy) are characterized by a heavily landslide-prone
topography, as mountain and hilly territories represent more than 50% of the total area. Rapid flowlike
landslides, defined in the scientific literature as flow slides, fast soil movements and debris flows
are the most frequent types of landslides occurring in such region (about 41%). These landslides are
triggered by heavy rainfall and water plays an important role both in the triggering and the propagation
phase. As well known, these landslides are particularly destructive events. This is due to the fragile
response of the material when the process initiates, to the limited or no premonitory signs, and to the
enormous potential damage associated with i) the large volumes of mobilized soil, ii) the high velocity
reached by the fluidized materials and iii) the long travelling distances. These events can cause
serious social, environmental and economic consequences, and can be found with similar features in
numerous regions of the world, such as Eastern United States, South-East Asia, and South-America.
Despite the significant progress made in the last two decades in the understanding of the triggering
processes and of the hydro-mechanics of free surface gravitational flows of granular materials,
numerous knowledge gaps still exist in i) the quantitative evaluation of the hazard and risk assessment
associated with this kind of natural phenomena, ii) the reduction of the mitigation costs.
The aim of the project is to improve the current state of knowledge of the areas at risk and to develop
a reliable strategy for quantitative hazard assessment of rainfall-induced flow slides and debris flows.
In particular, the project will provide a methodological path to define the potential unstable volumes,
the propagation distance, and the possible interaction with existing structures and infrastructures. The
successful implementation of these goals can represent a major step forward with respect to common
rainfall thresholding, as it would allow public agencies to differentiate landslide source areas according
to the triggering probability and the expected type of post-failure evolution (e.g., sliding or flowing).
Effective start/end date9/1/178/31/18


  • Politecnico di Milano (2016-0769)
  • Fondazione Cariplo (2016-0769)


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