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A community-operated landslide early warning approach: Myanmar case study

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posted on 2022-08-25, 11:41 authored by Neil Dixon, Alister SmithAlister Smith, Matthew Pietz

A landslide early warning system based on monitoring acoustic emission (AE) generated by slope movements has been developed that can deliver alerts direct to a community at risk, with relevance to low- and middle-income countries. The Community Slope SAFE (Sensors for Acoustic Failure Early-warning) (CSS) approach uses steel waveguides driven into the slope to transmit detected high frequency noise (AE) to a sensor at the ground surface. CSS gives a measure of slope displacement rate. Continuously measured AE is compared to a pre-defined trigger level that is indicative of decreasing slope stability (i.e., landslide initiation), and a visual and audible alert automatically generated so that a community can follow a pre-defined course of action (e.g., evacuation). This paper describes the CSS approach and details a field trial of the system at two sites in Hakha, Chin Sate, Myanmar. The trial, which included training a group of youth Landslide Response Volunteers to install and operate the CSS system, increased landslide awareness and knowledge in the Hakha community, delivered the required real-time continuous operation, and demonstrated the practicality of using the CSS system for community landslide protection.


IAA Community Slope SAFE: Design for Manufacture

FHI 360 FY16 Catalyst Fund

Philip Leverhulme Prize (PLP-2019-017)



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

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Geoenvironmental Disasters






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This is an Open Access article published by SpringerOpen and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The version of record of this article, first published in Geoenvironmental Disasters, is available online at Publisher’s website: https://doi.org/10.1186/s40677-022-00220-7

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Dr Alister Smith. Deposit date: 17 August 2022

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