Towards automatic landslide-quake identification using a random forest classifier

Guan Wei Lin, Ching Hung, Yi Feng Chang Chien, Chung Ray Chu, Che Hsin Liu, Chih Hsin Chang, Hongey Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Landslide-generated seismic waves (landslide-quakes), exhibiting distinctive waveforms and frequency characteristics, can be recorded by nearby seismometers. Implementing an automatic classifier for landslide-quakes could help provide objective and accurate initiation times of landslides with efficiency. This study collected and analyzed the time information of 214 landslide seismic records due to 33 documented landslide events, from the Broadband Array in Taiwan for Seismology (BATS). In addition, equal numbers of earthquake and noise signals were also incorporated. The 642 seismic signals and time information were carefully examined using the random forest algorithm to create an automatic landslide-quake classifier. By validating the signal attributes of the landslide, earthquake, and noise events, specifically in the time and frequency domains, it was shown that the proposed classifier can reach an accuracy (the proportion of all correctly classified events to the total number of events) of 91.3%. To further evaluate the applicability of the automatic classifier, landslide-quakes generated during the devastating Typhoon Morakot (2009) and Typhoon Soudelor (2015) were also verified, showing that the sensitivity of the classifier is higher than 98%.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3670
JournalApplied Sciences (Switzerland)
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jun 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Instrumentation
  • Engineering(all)
  • Process Chemistry and Technology
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


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