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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-117
© Author(s) 2017. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Research article
30 Mar 2017
Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of this manuscript was accepted for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS) and is expected to appear here in due course.
Characterizing the spatial variations and correlations of large rainstorms for landslide study
Liang Gao, Limin Zhang, and Mengqian Lu Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong
Abstract. Rainfall is the primary trigger of landslides in Hong Kong; hence rainstorm spatial distribution is an important piece of information in landslide hazard analysis. The primary objective of this paper is to quantify spatial correlation characteristics of three landslide-triggering large storms in Hong Kong. The spatial maximum rolling rainfall is represented by a rotated ellipsoid trend surface and a random field of residuals. The maximum rolling 4-h, 12-h, 24-h and 36-h rainfall amounts of these storms are assessed via surface trend fitting, and the spatial correlation of the detrended residuals is determined through studying the scales of fluctuation along eight directions. The principal directions of the surface trend are between 19° and 43°, and the major and minor axis lengths are 83–386 km and 55–79 km, respectively. The scales of fluctuation of the residuals are found between 5 km and 30 km. The spatial distribution parameters for the three large rainstorms are found to be similar to those for four ordinary rainfall events. The proposed rainfall spatial distribution model and parameters help define the impact area, rainfall intensity and local topographic effects for landslide hazard evaluation in the future.

Citation: Gao, L., Zhang, L., and Lu, M.: Characterizing the spatial variations and correlations of large rainstorms for landslide study, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2017-117, in review, 2017.
Liang Gao et al.
Liang Gao et al.

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Short summary
Rainfall is the primary trigger of landslides. However the rainfall intensity is not uniform in space, causing more landslides in the area of intense rainfall. The primary objective of this paper is to quantify spatial correlation characteristics of three landslide-triggering large storms in Hong Kong. The spatial maximum rolling rainfall is represented by a trend surface and a random field of residuals. The scales of fluctuation of the residuals are found between 5 km and 30 km.
Rainfall is the primary trigger of landslides. However the rainfall intensity is not uniform in...
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