Similar to other geo hazards, landslides cannot be avoided in mountainous terrain. It is the most common natural hazard in the mountain regions and can result in enormous damage to both property and life every year. Better understanding of the hazard will help people to live in harmony with the pristine nature. Since India has 15% of its land area prone to landslides, preparation of landslide susceptibility zonation (LSZ) maps for these areas is of utmost importance. These susceptibility zonation maps will give the areas that are prone to landslides and the safe areas, which in-turn help the administrators for safer planning and future development activities. There are various methods for the preparation of LSZ maps such as based on Fuzzy logic, Artificial Neural Network, Discriminant Analysis, Direct Mapping, Regression Analysis, Neuro-Fuzzy approach and other techniques. These different approaches apply different rating system and the weights, which are area and factors dependent. Therefore, these weights and ratings play a vital role in the preparation of susceptibility maps using any of the approach. However, one technique that gives very high accuracy in certain might not be applicable to other parts of the world due to change in various factors, weights and ratings. Hence, only one method cannot be suggested to be applied in any other terrain. Therefore, an understanding of these approaches, factors and weights needs to be enhanced so that their execution in Geographic Information System (GIS) environment could give better results and yield actual ground like scenarios for landslide susceptibility mapping. Hence, the available and applicable approaches are discussed in this chapter along with detailed account of the literature survey in the areas of LSZ mapping. Also a case study of Garhwal area where Support Vector Machine (SVM) technique is used for preparing LSZ is also given. These LSZ maps will also be an important input for preparing the risk assessment of LSZ.
Part of the book: Environmental Applications of Remote Sensing