Zonificación de procesos de remoción en masa en Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, mediante combinación de análisis multicriterio y método heurístico

  • Jesús Arturo Muñiz-Jauregui
  • Victor Manuel Hernández-Madrigal
Keywords: landslides, susceptibility, heuristic method, multicriteria analysis, urban planning, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico


The city of Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico is frequently affected by landslides, mainly of the debris flow type, triggered by intense rainfall associated to extraordinary meteorological events. As result numerous disasters involving loss of human lives and material damages have occurred, which make the need for the identification of zones in the city that are most susceptible to slope instability to be an imperative requirement. The present work provides a susceptibility landslide map for the mountainous sector of Puerto Vallarta based on a combination of a multicriteria analysis and the heuristic method. The map considers ten thematic layers such as: previous instability (inventory map), lithology, slope, solar radiation, cut slopes, unstable zones due to roads, human settlements, morphoalignements distances, cleared areas, and concentration of surface runoff. The map herein presented is the first to show at a large scale the terrain susceptibility to landslides of the city. Six degrees of susceptibility are considered from very low to very high. The results reveal that 69% of the studied zone includes terrains with medium to very high landslide susceptibility. Despite this high risk, if the municipal urban planning program contemplating the expansion of the city on mountainous areas is carried out, the landslide susceptible area would be increased by 503%: this makes evident that the urban planning of Puerto Vallarta overlooked the landslide susceptibility of the terrain. It was concluded that the combination of the multicriteria analysis and the heuristic method turns out to be an optimal tool for identifying landslide susceptible zones.