Nationwide Susceptibility Mapping of Landslides in Kenya Using the Fuzzy Analytic Hierarchy Process Model | Land Portal

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December 2020
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© 2020 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article.

Landslide susceptibility mapping (LSM) is a cost-effective tool for landslide hazard mitigation. To date, no nationwide landslide susceptibility maps have been produced for the entire Kenyan territory. Hence, this work aimed to develop a landslide susceptibility map at the national level in Kenya using the fuzzy analytic hierarchy process method. First, a hierarchical evaluation index system containing 10 landslide contributing factors and their subclasses was established to produce a susceptibility map. Then, the weights of these indexes were determined through pairwise comparisons, in which triangular fuzzy numbers (TFNs) were employed to scale the relative importance based on the opinions of experts. Ultimately, these weights were merged in a hierarchical order to obtain the final landslide susceptibility map. The entire Kenyan territory was divided into five susceptibility levels. Areas with very low susceptibility covered 5.53% of the Kenyan territory, areas with low susceptibility covered 20.58%, areas with the moderate susceptibility covered 29.29%, areas with high susceptibility covered 29.16%, and areas with extremely high susceptibility covered 15.44% of Kenya. The resulting map was validated using an inventory of 425 historical landslides in Kenya. The results indicated that the TFN-AHP model showed a significantly improved performance (AUC = 0.86) compared with the conventional AHP (AUC = 0.72) in LSM for the study area. In total, 31.53% and 29.88% of known landslides occurred within the “extremely high” and “high” susceptibility zones, respectively. Only 8.24% and 1.65% of known landslides fell within the “low” and “very low” susceptibility zones, respectively. The map obtained as a result of this study is beneficial to inform planning and land resource management in Kenya.

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Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Zhou, Suhua
Zhou, Shuaikang
Tan, Xin


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