Slow-moving LAndslides in Changing TrOpical landscapes: dynamics and hillslope connectivity from SpacE
LACTOSE aims to quantify how natural and anthropogenic environmental conditions control the dynamics of slow-moving landslides (SMLs) and their sediment contribution to river systems in changing tropical landscapes. To disentangle the complex influences of environmental changes on SML activity, LACTOSE will analyse hillslope processes across the diverse landscape conditions of the western branch of the East African Rift System (wEARS). This regional-scale approach will be enabled by exploiting synergies between different space-borne remote sensing tools (optical and radar imagery, historical aerial photographs, etc.). LACTOSE is at the interface between natural hazard assessment, geomorphology, land degradation, sediment dynamics, and environmental changes with Earth observation at its core. It is strongly focused on synergies, long-term collaborations, knowledge transfer and capacity building activities with several key research institutions in Africa.

SO1: To present a first large-scale assessment of the presence of active SML and their spatial variations across a large spectrum of landscape conditions. 

SO2: To quantify and untangle the respective influences of natural (climate, lithology, tectonic settings, etc.) and human-induced (expansion of cultivated and urban land, deforestation) controls on the past and present dynamics of SML. 

SO3: To quantify the potential contribution of SML to river sediment loads by studying their dynamics and connectivity. 

The project started in may 2023. First focus where on the regional scale slow-moving landslide inventory; which led to the detection of the kinematics of tens of landslides. Second focus was on case-specific landslides, with validation of detection methods.

Principal investigators:


2023 2026

External collaborators:

Matthias Vanmaercke (KU Leuven)