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Volume 29 (2) - 2006

SOLDATI M., BORGATTI L., CAVALLIN A., DE AMICIS M., FRIGERIO S., GIARDINO M., MORTARA G., PELLEGRINI G.B., RAVAZZI C., SURIAN N., TELLINI C. & ZANCHI A.

Geomorphological evolution of slopes and climate changes in northern Italy during the Late Quaternary: spatial and temporal distribution of landslides and landscape sensitivity implications

Pages 165-183

Abstract

This paper deals with the use of landslide records in the analysis of landscape sensitivity, with particular reference to climate change as a forcing process. The dating of past landslide events is useful to reconstruct the evolution of the slope-system at a broad temporal scale and to recognize the different formative events it has experienced. If the environmental context can be defined by means of a multidisciplinary approach which comprises geomorphological, sedimentological, palaeobotanical, dendrochronological and archaeological analysis, then a deep understanding of the relationship between the possible triggering factors and the responses of the landscape can be achieved. The goal is to recognize the temporal changes through environmental factors which condition landsliding events such as climate, seismic activity, vegetation and land use, trying to identify the relationship between landslide events and their initiating process, which is known to be complicated by the behaviour and the properties of the hillslope system, in other words its sensitivity. The conceptual and methodological aspects of the topic are discussed, aiming primarily at the reconstruction of the temporal occurrence of landslides and at the assessment of possible clustering of climate-induced landslides, as a consequence of the slope-system sensitivity to climate changes. Case studies in the Alps and in the northern Apennines are described and the research perspectives are outlined.

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