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Landslide Atlas of India

GS Paper 1

Syllabus: Geography- Geophysical phenomenon.


Source: The Tribune, NRSC (Data given in the article is taken from this report)


Context: All 12 districts of Himachal Pradesh have figured on a list prepared by the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) of locations prone to landslides.

  • The Landslide Atlas of India was released by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) at the “National Meet on Disaster Risk Management — Trends & Technologies” held at Hyderabad.
  • The NRSC, one of the centres of ISRO, manages data from aerial and satellite sources.




About Landslide:

  • A landslide is “a movement of a mass of rock, earth or debris down a slope”.



Types of flows

  • Debris flows: It is a form of rapid mass movement in which a combination of loose soil, rock, organic matter, and slurry that flows downslope. They are commonly caused by intense precipitation or rapid snowmelt.
  • Earth flow: It is a down-slope viscous flow of fine-grained material saturated with water.
  • Mudflow: A mudflow is a wet or viscous fluid mass of fine and coarse-grained material that flows rapidly along drainage channels.
  • Creep: Creep is the slow, steady, downward movement of material under gravity that occurs in a large area




Key Findings:

  • India is among the top four countries with the highest landslide risk, where every year the estimated loss of life per 100 km2 is greater than one.
  • This Atlas provides risk assessment in landslide locations during the period of 1998-2022 and covers vulnerable regions in 17 states and 02 UTs of India in the Himalayas and Western Ghats.
  • Northwest Himalayas contribute 66.5% of landslides in India, followed by Northeast Himalayas (18.8%) and Western Ghats (14.7%).
  • Top 5 districts based on their exposure to landslide: Rudraprayag and Tehri Garhwal (Uttarakhand), Thrissur (Kerala), Rajouri (J&K), and Palakkad (Kerala)
  • The database includes three types of landslide inventory – seasonal, event-based and route-wise


About NRSC:

National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) has the mandate for the establishment of ground stations for receiving satellite data, generation of data products, dissemination to the users, development of techniques for remote sensing applications including disaster management support, geospatial services for good governance and capacity building for professionals, faculty, and students.


Fig: Features of landslide


Insta Links:

Landslides in India (Mindmap)


Mains Link:

Disaster preparedness is the first step in any disaster management process. Explain how hazard zonation mapping will help disaster mitigation in the case of landslides UPSC 2019

Differentiate the causes of landslides in the Himalayan region and Western Ghats (UPSC 2021)