Landslide Hazards

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The primary objective of the National Landslide Hazards Program is to reduce long-term losses from landslide hazards by improving our understanding of the causes of ground failure and suggesting mitigation strategies.

Debris-Flow Forecasts Before Wildfires

Debris-Flow Forecasts Before Wildfires

Scientists have been pursuing a way to assess debris flow hazards even before the fire occurs.

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The Landslide Hazards Program website content is now part of a single USGS website, and the URLs have changed. Here is where to find some of our most popular content:

Emergency Assessment of Post-Fire Debris-Flow Hazards

Monitoring Stations

Preliminary Landslide Assessments

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News

Date published: April 30, 2019

Study of Alaskan Landslide Could Improve Tsunami Modeling

A rare submarine landslide provides researchers with a reference point for modeling the biggest tsunamis. (EOS article)

Date published: March 20, 2019

Five Years Later - The Oso (SR 530) Landslide in Washington

The Oso (SR 530) Landslide in Washington - Five Years Later 

The following is an updated version of a story first published in March of 2015.

Date published: September 18, 2018

Science for a Risky World: A USGS Plan for Risk Research and Applications – USGS publishes strategic plan for examining risk

USGS explores opportunities to advance its capabilities in risk assessment, mitigation, and communication in new strategic plan.

Publications

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Year Published: 2019

A 4000-year history of debris flows in north-central Washington State, U.S.A.: Preliminary results from trenching and surficial geologic mapping at the Pope Creek fan

Long-term records of the magnitude and frequency of debris flows on fans are rare, but such records provide critical information needed for debris-flow hazard and risk assessments. This study explores the history of debris flows on a fan with seasonally inhabited cabins at Pope Creek along the Entiat River about 48 km upstream from the town of...

Coe, Jeffrey A.; Bessette-Kirton, Erin; Slaughter, Stephen; Rengers, Francis K.; Contreras, Trevor A.; Michelson, Katherin A; Taylor, Emily; Kean, Jason W.; Jacobacci, Kara; Hanson, Molly A
Coe, J.A., Bessette-Kirton, E.K., Slaughter, S.L., Rengers, F.K., Contreras, T.A., Mickelson, K.A., Taylor, E.M., Kean, J.W., Jacobacci, K.E., Hanson, M.A., 2019, A 4000-year history of debris flows in north-central Washington State, U.S.A.: preliminary results from trenching and surficial geologic mapping at the Pope Creek fan, in Kean, J.W., Coe, J.A., Santi, P.M., and Guillen, B.K., eds., Debris-Flow Hazards Mitigation: Mechanics, Monitoring, Modeling, and Assessment, Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Debris Flow Hazards Mitigation, Golden, Colorado, p. 613-620.

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Year Published: 2019

Exploring controls on debris-flow surge velocity and peak discharge at Chalk Cliffs, Colorado, USA

We present a series of debris-flow events and use combined sensor and video data to explore how sediment concentration and triggering rainfall intensity affect the velocity and discharge of debris-flow surges generated by surface-water runoff. We analyze an initial data set of 49 surges from four debris-flow events recorded by a monitoring system...

Smith, Joel B.; Kean, Jason W.; Coe, Jeffrey A.
Smith, J.B., Kean, J.W., and Coe, J.A., 2019, Exploring controls on debris-flow surge velocity and peak discharge at Chalk Cliffs, Colorado, USA, in Kean, J.W., Coe, J.A., Santi, P.M., and Guillen, B.K., eds., Debris-Flow Hazards Mitigation: Mechanics, Monitoring, Modeling, and Assessment, Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Debris Flow Hazards Mitigation, Golden, Colorado, p. 199-206.

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Year Published: 2019

An evaluation of debris-flow runout model accuracy and complexity in Montecito, CA: Towards a framework for regional inundation-hazard forecasting

Numerous debris-flow inundation models have been applied retroactively to noteworthy events around the world. While such studies can be useful in identifying controlling factors, calibrating model parameters, and assessing future hazards in specific study areas, model parameters tailored to individual events can be difficult to apply regionally....

Bessette-Kirton, Erin; Kean, Jason W.; Coe, Jeffrey A.; Rengers, Francis K.; Staley, Dennis M.
Bessette-Kirton, E.K., Kean, J.W., Coe, J.A., Rengers, F.K., Staley, D.M., 2019, An evaluation of debris-flow runout model accuracy and complexity in Montecito, California: Towards a framework for regional inundation-hazard forecasting, in Kean, J.W., Coe, J.A., Santi, P.M., and Guillen, B.K., eds., Debris-Flow Hazards Mitigation: Mechanics, Monitoring, Modeling, and Assessment, Proceedings of the 7th International Conference on Debris Flow Hazards Mitigation, Golden, Colorado p. 257-264.