Mooney Gap, Coweeta Experimental Forest, North Carolina

Science Center Objects

Recent Conditions

Instruments were installed in the fall of 2013 and are used to monitor and detect changes in local conditions, including

Measurements are taken at 30-minute intervals and data are transmitted daily and displayed on graphs.

Landslides in western North Carolina impact people and the environment and are commonly induced by intense or prolonged rainfall associated with strong storms. For example, in September of 2004 heavy rainfall from two hurricanes, Frances and Ivan, induced thousands of landslides over a large part of western North Carolina.

The USGS and its cooperators have installed instruments in a steep hillside about 16 km southeast of Otto, NC in the Coweeta Experimental Forest. Data collection at this site supports research on hydrologic factors that control landslide initiation. In many landslide-prone hillsides, infiltration of water from rainfall or snowmelt increases ground-water pressures. These elevated pressures can, in turn, induce landslide movement.

 

Topographic map of the area the monitoring station is located at Mooney Gap

Mooney Gap monitoring site proximity map.

(Credit: York Lewis. Public domain.)

 

Monitoring station in Coweeta Experimental Forest surrounded by trees on the side of a hill slope

Downslope view of monitoring station, rain gage shown in foreground.

(Credit: York Lewis. Public domain.)

 

Monitoring station in Coweeta Experimental Forest surrounded by trees on the side of a hill slope

Upslope view of monitoring station with tensiometer enclosures shown in the foreground.

(Credit: York Lewis. Public domain.)