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New Seattle Landslide Maps
USGS maps provide greater detail for owners of landslide prone property

Released: 5/19/2006 6:13:01 AM

Contact Information:
U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Office of Communication
119 National Center
Reston, VA 20192
InÚs Pearce (Seattle Project Impact)
Phone: 206-605-6057

Bill Lukas (U.S. Geological Survey) 1-click interview
Phone: 206-220-4576



Experts at the United States Geological Survey (USGS) have produced a series of new landslide maps of Seattle that will provide property owners, government agencies and utilities with improved landslide information. The new maps include a Shallow Landslide Hazard Map; Landslide Terrain Map using LIDAR Imagery; Map of Landslide Probability and Recurrence; Prototype Maps Linked to Rainfall; Rainfall Thresholds for Landslides and Early Warning; and Deep Landslide Hazards Map.

"We are very pleased to have these new resources," said City of Seattle Emergency Management Director, Barb Graff. "An improved understanding of landslide hazards in Seattle can help government and private property owners reduce the threat to both people and property."

The new maps are the product of a multi-year study by the USGS following the devastating landslides in the region in 1996/97 and are part of the larger Seattle Project Impact, a public-private partnership, to improve safety in the region against such natural hazards as landslides and earthquakes.

Since 1997, the City of Seattle has

  • Refined mapping of Landslide Prone Areas (LPAs)
  • Provided annual expert landslide mitigation seminars for the public
  • Developed a coordinated emergency response and recovery plan with annual preparations by City staff for the wet season
  • Fixed a number of priority landslide and drainage problems in LPAs (over 300 large and small projects have been completed).

City of Seattle staff have begun a review of the maps to determine how this information can assist regulators and property owners in protecting against landslide hazards and damage. The maps generally reinforce and confirm information provided in Environmentally Critical Areas maps currently used by the City of Seattle.

Several USGS maps and reports related to landslide hazards in Seattle are available online at http://landslides.usgs.gov/learningeducation/publications.php. The new maps identifying shallow and deep landslide hazards will be available soon.

For more information about the Seattle Project Impact programs led by Emergency Management, contact: InÚs Pearce (206) 615-0288

Or visit: http://www.seattle.gov/projectimpact

For more information about the city's role in regulating development in landslide hazard areas, contact: Alan Justad (206) 233-3891

Or visit the DPD website: http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/emergency/overview/


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