Liveland – predicting, monitoring and alerting of landslides and subsidence

Transport operators across the UK face significant challenges in detecting, monitoring and forecasting landslide and subsidence hazards across their networks. Incidents resulting from these hazards, occurring along or within the vicinity of road and rail corridors, can have a negative impact on society and local communities, especially in remote locations and challenging terrain. As a result, owners and operators of transport infrastructure increasingly need to understand these hazards, to better manage their exposure, mitigate risk and improve planning and response to incidents when they occur.

The LiveLand project will examine and develop a number of unique monitoring solutions that will address the requirements of two prominent Scottish transport operators: Network Rail (Scotland) and Transport Scotland; from regional ground stability measurements captured by satellite InSAR (earth observation) data, to hazard forecasting models using geological and meteorological data, and the development of cost-effective, multi-sensor GNSS devices for in-situ monitoring.

These solutions will provide information on hazard potential and activity along and in proximity to rail and road assets. Once successfully demonstrated in Scotland, LiveLand is expected to expand across the UK, with the potential for further expansion into Europe and beyond.


The main user group target for LiveLand services are owners and operators of road and rail transport infrastructure networks that, in addition to commercial interests, have a number of statutory and social responsibilities to fulfil. In particular LiveLand is targeting the geotechnical asset management teams within these organisations.

A number of unique monitoring solutions that address the requirements of two prominent Scottish transport operators Network Rail (Scotland) and Transport Scotland will be developed within LiveLand.  These transport service operators are interested in a service that allows them to identify and optimise maintenance and improvement activities, and plan routes that reduce the risk of disruption due to geological hazards and associated remedial action. Key user requirements for transport operators include the following:

  • Monitor slopes and subsidence hazards across networks in a cost effective manner
  • Improve landslide forecasting at regional and network level
  • Provide a forecast that (a) indicates the probability of increased likelihood of landslide occurrence in the 1-5 day timeframe to prioritise resources and mitigate impacts and (b) a medium range 15/30 day warning.
  • Provide reliable monitoring capabilities of specific, often remote, sites to alert transport operators to any geohazard activity or subsidence.

The LiveLand service would be particularly useful in remote, sparse transport networks, where re-routing ‘on-the-fly’ in response to a geological hazard ‘event’ could minimise delays and incurred costs, or impose suitable operational control measures to maintain safety of the network.


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