The early identification of potential landslide hazards is of great practical significance for disaster early warning and prevention. The study used different machine learning methods to identify potential active landslides along a 15 km buffer zone on both sides of Jinsha River (Panzhihua-Huize section), China. The morphology and texture features of landslides were characterized with InSAR deformation monitoring data and high-resolution optical remote sensing data, combined with 17 landslide influencing factors. In the study area, 83 deformation accumulation areas of potential landslide hazards and 54 deformation accumulation areas of non-potential landslide hazards were identified through spatial overlay analysis with 64 potential active landslides, which have been confirmed by field verification. The Naive Bayes (NB), Decision Tree (DT), Support Vector Machine (SVM) and Random Forest (RF) algorithms were trained and tested through attribute selection and parameter optimization. Among the 17 landslide influencing factors, Drainage Density, NDVI, Slope and Weathering Degree play an indispensable role in the machine learning and recognition of landslide hazards in our study area, while other influencing factors play a certain role in different algorithms. A multi-index (Precision, Recall, F1) comparison shows that the SVM (0.867, 0.829, 0.816) has better recognition precision skill for small-scale unbalanced landslide deformation datasets, followed by RF (0.765, 0.756, 0.741), DT (0.755, 0.756, 0.748) and NB (0.659, 0.659, 0.659). Different from the previous study on landslide susceptibility and hazard mapping based on machine learning, this study focuses on how to find out the potential active landslide points more accurately, rather than evaluating the landslide susceptibility of specific areas to tell us which areas are more sensitive to landslides. This study verified the feasibility of early identification of landslide hazards by using different machine learning methods combined with deformation information and multi-source landslide influencing factors rather than by relying on human–computer interaction. This study shows that the efficiency of potential hazard identification can be increased while reducing the subjective bias caused by relying only on human experts.
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