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Landslide disparities, flume discoveries, and Oso despair

April 8, 2020

Landslide dynamics is the branch of science that seeks to understand the motion of landslides by applying Newton's laws. This memoir focusses on a 40‐year effort to understand motion of highly mobile—and highly lethal—landslides such as debris avalanches and debris flows. A major component of this work entailed development and operation of the U.S. Geological Survey debris flow flume, a unique, large‐scale experimental facility in Oregon. Experiments there yielded new insights that informed development of mathematical models that were aimed not only at explaining landslide dynamics but also at evaluating landslide and debris flow hazards. The most sophisticated of these models, called D‐Claw, found its first practical application during investigations of the 2014 Oso, Washington, landslide disaster. That event provided indelible lessons about the utility and sociology of science in the real world.

Publication Year 2020
Title Landslide disparities, flume discoveries, and Oso despair
DOI 10.1029/2019CN000117
Authors Richard M. Iverson
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Perspectives of Earth and Space Scientists
Index ID 70213050
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Volcano Science Center