Understanding Landslide Impacts in Scotland


17th May 2017

by Mike Winter, TRL Scotland.

The debris flow events of August 2004 led to an awareness of landslide events and their consequences that was unprecedented in Scotland. Following these events the Scottish Road Network Landslides Study was commissioned in order to ensure that the hazards and risks were understood and that there was a plan for dealing with those hazards and risks which was published in 2009.

These events and the problems related to them will be discussed in the context of a regional, semi-quantitative hazard and risk assessment. The strategic approach to landslide risk reduction that was developed is used to fit with asset management priorities and the application of the approach is exemplified using the A83 Rest and be Thankful site, thus introducing a wide variety of risk reduction measures.

A methodology for Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) has been developed and applied to high risk sites. This allows an understanding of personal fatality risk and societal fatality risk – this is believed to be the first formal QRA of the risks that debris flows pose to road users.

The lecture will discuss the work that has been undertaken since publication of the Scottish Road Network Landslides Study and consider how risk can be contextualised by considering the response of different societies in terms of the willingness to accept risk, the willingness (and ability) to pay to reduce risk, and the willingness to affect the environment in pursuit of risk reduction. This leads logically to a consideration of the economic impacts of landslides (and floods for comparison) and to the concept of vulnerability shadow.

Book your place online here.

Or download: Understanding landslide impacts in Scotland FLyer