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SC1.30/NH10.1 ECS

Open-Source simulations: slope stability and failure in a hydrological catchment model (co-organized)
Convener: Luigi Lombardo  | Co-Conveners: Raffaele Albano , Victor Jetten , Cees van Westen , Bastian van den Bout 
Fri, 13 Apr, 10:30–12:00

The stability of slope material can be highly dynamic and is usually influenced by the hydrological cycle. Precipitation, infiltration and groundwater flow influence the stability of slope material. When this material fails, the slope releases a mixture of solids, water and air. The runout of this mixture can travel large distances and can cause both human casualties and complete destruction of buildings. During runout, entrainment can furthermore increase the volume of the mass movement multiple times. In many regions of the world with steep slopes, slope failure and the resulting landslides and debris flows form a major hazard to the population and infrastructure.
Spatially distributed simulations are an important tool in the investigation and analysis of hazardous land surface processes. Generally, models focus on a specific hazardous process, such as flooding, landslides or debris flows. In reality however, precipitation can be a shared trigger for many different hazardous land surface processes, leading to simultaneous occurrence. For this reason, integrated or coupled simulations are currently subject of development.
In this session, an overview of the workings of the open source freeware Multi-hazard model OpenLISEM will be provided in a short lecture, together with a set of example simulations. We will go through the basics of creating an input database and simulate in an example catchment an integrated hazard situation. The session will end with a discussion on model performance. During the session, we aim to exchange ideas and experiences between participants, and promote discussion.
The OpenLISEM Multi-Hazard model is a physically based integrated model for catchment scale simulation of hazardous and non-hazardous water and sediment related processes. The model originated is a coupled hydrology and soil erosion model. In the past years, hazardous surface processes have been implemented in a fully integrated manner. Implemented processes include: Infiltration, Interception, Spatial rainfall, Channel flow, Flood behaviour, Slope stability, Slope failure, Failure volume estimations, Mass movement dynamics, Entrainment and more. The hydrology and sediment related processes in the model have been calibrated and validated in many regions of the world. Several test datasets will be made available before the lecture, and will be free for download (
The OpenLISEM software is fully open-source and available through github and sourceforge ( ). Furthermore, the model is fully interfaced, including all simulation settings, map loading and a live result display. Compiled executables are available on Windows, but compilation on Linux is possible. Generally, the open-source freeware GIS PCRaster ( is used for database creation. In addition, the GDAL library is used for map loading and exporting, thus allowing for other map formats ( Finally, example datasets and full documentation will be available online (
The session is organized by Luigi Lombardo (King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, Saudi Arabia), Bastian van den Bout (PhD), Prof Dr Victor Jetten, Dr Cees van Westen (ITC, Twente University, the Netherlands) and in cooperation with NhET (Natural hazard Early career scientists Team).