Poplar Cove, Nantahala National Forest, North Carolina
Science Center Objects
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 17.5 km southwest of Franklin, NC in the Nantahala National 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.