Change-point analysis of geophysical time-series: application to landslide displacement rate (Séchilienne rock avalanche, France) - Normandie Université Access content directly
Journal Articles Geophysical Journal International Year : 2018

Change-point analysis of geophysical time-series: application to landslide displacement rate (Séchilienne rock avalanche, France)


The rank-sum multiple change-point method is a robust statistical procedure designed to search for the optimal number and the location of change points in an arbitrary continue or discrete sequence of values. As such, this procedure can be used to analyse time-series data. Twelve years of robust data sets for the Séchilienne (French Alps) rockslide show a continuous increase in average displacement rate from 50 to 280 mm per month, in the 2004–2014 period, followed by a strong decrease back to 50 mm per month in the 2014–2015 period. When possible kinematic phases are tentatively suggested in previous studies, its solely rely on the basis of empirical threshold values. In this paper, we analyse how the use of a statistical algorithm for change-point detection helps to better understand time phases in landslide kinematics. First, we test the efficiency of the statistical algorithm on geophysical benchmark data, these data sets (stream flows and Northern Hemisphere temperatures) being already analysed by independent statistical tools. Second, we apply the method to 12-yr daily time-series of the Séchilienne landslide, for rainfall and displacement data, from 2003 December to 2015 December, in order to quantitatively extract changes in landslide kinematics. We find two strong significant discontinuities in the weekly cumulated rainfall values: an average rainfall rate increase is resolved in 2012 April and a decrease in 2014 August. Four robust changes are highlighted in the displacement time-series (2008 May, 2009 November–December–2010 January, 2012 September and 2014 March), the 2010 one being preceded by a significant but weak rainfall rate increase (in 2009 November). Accordingly, we are able to quantitatively define five kinematic stages for the Séchilienne rock avalanche during this period. The synchronization between the rainfall and displacement rate, only resolved at the end of 2009 and beginning of 2010, corresponds to a remarkable change (fourfold increase in mean displacement rate) in the landslide kinematic. This suggests that an increase of the rainfall is able to drive an increase of the landslide displacement rate, but that most of the kinematics of the landslide is not directly attributable to rainfall amount. The detailed exploration of the characteristics of the five kinematic stages suggests that the weekly averaged displacement rates are more tied to the frequency or rainy days than to the rainfall rate values. These results suggest the pattern of Séchilienne rock avalanche is consistent with the previous findings that landslide kinematics is dependent upon not only rainfall but also soil moisture conditions (as known as being more strongly related to precipitation frequency than to precipitation amount). Finally, our analysis of the displacement rate time-series pinpoints a susceptibility change of slope response to rainfall, as being slower before the end of 2009 than after, respectively. The kinematic history as depicted by statistical tools opens new routes to understand the apparent complexity of Séchilienne landslide kinematic.
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hal-01735508 , version 1 (19-10-2021)





A Amorese, J-R. Grasso, S Garambois, Marianne Font. Change-point analysis of geophysical time-series: application to landslide displacement rate (Séchilienne rock avalanche, France). Geophysical Journal International, 2018, 213 (2), pp.1231 - 1243. ⟨10.1093/gji/ggy060⟩. ⟨hal-01735508⟩
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