Landslide Hazards Program

Publications

Filter Total Items: 928
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Year Published: 2020

Detection and assessment of a large and potentially‐tsunamigenic periglacial landslide in Barry Arm, Alaska

The retreat of glaciers in response to global warming has the potential to trigger landslides in glaciated regions around the globe. Landslides that enter fjords or lakes can cause tsunamis, which endanger people and infrastructure far from the landslide itself. Here we document the ongoing movement of an unstable slope (total volume of 455...

Dai, Chunli; Higman, Bretwood; Lynett, Patrick J.; Jacquemart, Mylène; Howat, Ian; Liljedahl, Anna K.; Dufresne, Anja; Freymueller, Jeffery T.; Geertsema, Marten; Jones, Melissa Ward; Haeussler, Peter

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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

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Year Published: 2020

Reconstructing the velocity and deformation of a rapid landslide using multiview video

Noncontact measurements of spatially varied ground surface deformation during landslide motion can provide important constraints on landslide mechanics. Here, we present and test a new method for extracting measurements of rapid landslide surface displacement and velocity (accelerations of approximately 1 m/s2) using sequences of stereo...

Rapstine, Thomas D; Rengers, Francis K.; Allstadt, Kate; Iverson, Richard M.; Smith, Joel B.; Obryk, Maciej; Logan, M.; Olsen, M. J.

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Year Published: 2020

Bellwether sites for evaluating changes in landslide frequency and magnitude in cryospheric mountainous terrain: A call for systematic, long-term observations to decipher the impact of climate change

Permafrost and glaciers are being degraded by the warming effects of climate change. The impact that this degradation has on slope stability in mountainous terrain is the subject of ongoing research efforts. The relatively new availability of high-resolution (≤ 10 m) imagery with worldwide coverage and short (≤ 30 days) repeat...

Coe, Jeffrey A.

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Year Published: 2020

A 36-year record of rock avalanches in the Saint Elias Mountains of Alaska, with implications for future hazards

Glacial retreat and mountain-permafrost degradation resulting from rising global temperatures have the potential to impact the frequency and magnitude of landslides in glaciated environments. Several recent events, including the 2015 Taan Fiord rock avalanche, which triggered a tsunami with one of the highest wave runups ever recorded, have called...

Bessette-Kirton, Erin K.; Coe, Jeffrey A.

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Year Published: 2020

Mobility characteristics of landslides triggered by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico

Mobility is an important element of landslide hazard and risk assessments yet has been seldom studied for shallow landslides and debris flows in tropical environments. In September 2017, Hurricane Maria triggered > 70,000 landslides across Puerto Rico. Using aerial imagery and a lidar digital elevation model (DEM), we mapped and characterized...

Bessette-Kirton, Erin K.; Coe, Jeffrey A.; Schulz, William; Cerovski-Darriau, Corina; Einbund, Mason Muir

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Year Published: 2020

Temporal and spatial variability of shallow soil moisture across four planar hillslopes on a tropical ocean island, San Cristóbal, Galápagos

Study Region: This paper provides a summary of findings from temporal and spatial studies of soil water content on planar hillslopes across the equatorial island of San Cristóbal, Galápagos (Ecuador). Study Focus: Soil water content (SWC) was measured to generate temporal and spatial records to determine seasonal variation and to investigate how...

Percy, Madelyn S.; Riveros-Iregui, Diego A.; Mirus, Benjamin B.; Benninger, Larry K.

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Year Published: 2020

Landslides across the United States: Occurrence, susceptibility, and data limitations

Detailed information about landslide occurrence is the foundation for advancing process understanding, susceptibility mapping, and risk reduction. Despite the recent revolution in digital elevation data and remote sensing technologies, landslide mapping remains resource intensive. Consequently, a modern, comprehensive map of landslide occurrence...

Mirus, Benjamin B.; Jones, Eric S.; Baum, Rex L.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Slaughter, Stephen Lee; Crawford, Matthew; Lancaster, Jeremy T.; Stanley, Thomas; Kirschbaum, Dalia; Burns, William J.; Schmitt, Robert G.; Lindsey, Kassandra O; McCoy, Kevin

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Year Published: 2020

The future of landslides’ past—A framework for assessing consecutive landsliding systems

Landslides often happen where they have already occurred in the past. The potential of landslides to reduce or enhance conditions for further landsliding has long been recognized and has often been reported, but the mechanisms and spatial and temporal scales of these processes have previously received little specific attention. Despite a...

Temme, A.; Guzzetti, F.; Samia, J.; Mirus, Benjamin B.

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Year Published: 2020

Map depicting susceptibility to landslides triggered by intense rainfall, Puerto Rico

Landslides in Puerto Rico range from nuisances to deadly events. Centuries of agricultural and urban modification of the landscape have perturbed many already unstable hillsides on the tropical island. One of the main triggers of mass wasting on the island is the high-intensity rainfall that is associated with tropical atmospheric systems. Puerto...

Hughes, K. Stephen; Schulz, William
Hughes, K.S., and Schulz, W.H., 2020, Map depicting susceptibility to landslides triggered by intense rainfall, Puerto Rico: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1022, 91 p., 1 plate, scale 1:150,000, https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201022.