Date of Award

2013

Document Type

Capstone Project

Keywords

Landslide, Modeling, Risk Perception, GIS, Mountains, Natural Disasters

Department

Geography

First Advisor

Steven R. Hick

Second Advisor

Joseph Berry

Abstract

Tourism is an increasingly important and developing sector of the Peruvian economy and the country is fast-tracking development to accommodate an influx of tourists, reportedly over 1.8 million/year. Situated in the southwest region of Peru, Aguas Calientes (Machu Picchu Pueblo) continues to develop infrastructure to keep pace with this burgeoning tourism industry. Regional geology and hydrology are importation factors influencing the ability to accommodate tourism in Aguas Calientes. Located at the confluence of three rivers, the town is also situated in a watershed with high return intervals for flooding and mass wasting triggered by the sudden, intense rainfall characterizing the wet season. Using a prototype landslide susceptibility model expanded to analyze exposure and risk perception, this research examines the relationship between perception and modeled physical variations and processes across the landscape. The approach uniquely pairs qualitative, ethnographic methods with quantitative data and modeling to create susceptibility maps and a query-ready spatial database for use in resource management. Results also suggest the need for re-evaluation of the extent and classification of hazard zone for use in resource management and land use planning.

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