Landslide Hazards


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.

Landslide Risks Highlighted in New Online Tool

Landslide Risks Highlighted in New Online Tool

The U.S. Geological Survey today unveiled a new web-based interactive map that marks an important step toward mapping areas that could be at higher risk for future landslides.

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Date published: September 29, 2020

National Preparedness Month 2020: Landslides and Sinkholes

Natural hazards have the potential to impact a majority of Americans every year. USGS science provides part of the foundation for emergency preparedness whenever and wherever disaster strikes.

Date published: August 18, 2020

Barry Arm Landslide and Tsunami Hazard

A large steep slope in the Barry Arm fjord 30 miles (50 kilometers) northeast of Whittier, Alaska has the potential to fall into the water and generate a tsunami that could have devastating local effects on those who live, work, and recreate in and around Whittier and in northern Prince William Sound.

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Date published: May 12, 2020

Announcing Gavin Hayes as USGS Senior Science Advisor for Earthquake & Geologic Hazards

On May 10, Gavin Hayes takes on the role of Senior Science Advisor for Earthquake and Geologic Hazards within the USGS Natural Hazards Mission Area.  The Senior Science Advisor serves as the coordinator for the Earthquake Hazards, Global Seismographic Network, and Geomagnetism Programs and provides oversight and guidance across the full breadth of USGS geohazard-related activities.


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Year Published: 2020

Measuring basal force fluctuations of debris flows using seismic recordings and empirical green's functions

We present a novel method for measuring the fluctuating basal normal and shear stresses of debris flows by using along‐channel seismic recordings. Our method couples a simple parameterization of a debris flow as a seismic source with direct measurements of seismic path effects using empirical Green's functions generated with a force hammer. We...

Allstadt, Kate; Farin, Maxime; Iverson, Richard M.; Obryk, Maciej; Kean, Jason W.; Tsai, Victor C.; Rapstine, Thomas D; Logan, Matthew

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Year Published: 2020

Hillslopes in humid-tropical climates aren’t always wet: Implications for hydrologic response and landslide initiation in Puerto Rico, USA

The devastating impacts of the widespread flooding and landsliding in Puerto Rico following the September 2017 landfall of Hurricane Maria highlight the increasingly extreme atmospheric disturbances and enhanced hazard potential in mountainous humid‐tropical climate zones. Long‐standing conceptual models for hydrologically driven hazards in Puerto...

Thomas, Matthew A.; Mirus, Benjamin B.; Smith, Joel B.

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Year Published: 2020

Landslides after wildfire: Initiation, magnitude, and mobility

In the semiarid Southwestern USA, wildfires are commonly followed by runoff-generated debris flows because wildfires remove vegetation and ground cover, which reduces soil infiltration capacity and increases soil erodibility. At a study site in Southern California, we initially observed runoff-generated debris flows in the first year following...

Rengers, Francis K.; McGuire, Luke; Oakley, Nina S.; Kean, Jason W.; Staley, Dennis M.; Tang, Hui