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Landslides FAQs - 22 Found

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What areas are most vulnerable to landslides in southern California?

Detailed locations of areas susceptible to debris flows are given on "Preliminary Soil-Slip Susceptibility Maps, Southwestern California," published as a U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report.

In addition, areas that have been burned by recent wildfires are highly susceptible to debris-flow activity that can be triggered by significantly less rainfall than that which triggers debris flows from unburned hillslopes. These areas are delineated in the following recent USGS Open-File Reports:

Cannon, Susan H., Boldt, Eric M., Kean, Jason W., Laber, Jayme, Staley, Dennis M., 2010, Relations Between Rainfall and Postfire Debris-Flow and Flood Magnitudes for Emergency-Response Planning, San Gabriel Mountains, Southern California U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2010-1039, 31 p.

Gartner, J. E., Cannon, S. H., Helsel, D. R., and Bandurraga M., 2009, Multivariate Statistical models for predicting sediment yields from Southern California watersheds U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2009-1200, 42 p.

Cannon,S. H., Gartner, J. E., Rupert, M. G., Michael, J. A., Staley, D. R., and Worstell, B. B., 2009, Emergency assessment of postfire debris-flow hazards for the 2009 Station Fire, San Gabriel Mountains, Southern California U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2009-1227, 24 p.

For more publications on wild-fire-burned areas please see the USGS Landslide Program publications page.

Areas of potential danger from debris flows include areas that are downslope and downstream from the susceptible areas shown on the USGS maps. Fatalities, injuries, and property damage from debris flows most commonly occur in low-lying areas such as canyon floors and near the mouths of canyons.

The California Geological Survey also has an index to landslide maps of California.

You can also download landslide inventory maps for selected areas in southern California.

Tags: Landslides, Liquefaction, Maps, Precipitation, Soils