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model of topographic hill with colored gradient

Model of 3D slope stability of a volcano edifice computed using Scoops3D software. (From Scoops3D user’s manual.) (Public domain.)

Scoops3D evaluates slope stability throughout a digital landscape represented by a digital elevation model (DEM). The program uses a three-dimensional (3D) method of columns limit-equilibrium analysis to assess the stability of many potential landslides (typically millions) within a user-defined size range. For each potential landslide, Scoops3D assesses the stability of a rotational, spherical slip surface encompassing many DEM cells. It provides the least-stable potential landslide for each DEM cell in the landscape, as well the associated volumes and (or) areas.

The user's manual includes: the theoretical basis for the slope-stability analysis, requirements for constructing a 3D domain, a detailed operational guide and input/output file specifications, practical considerations for conducting an analysis, results of verification tests, and multiple examples illustrating the capabilities of Scoops3D.


  • Simple graphical user interface (Scoops3D-i)
  • Easy integration of input/output files with Geographical Information System (GIS) software
  • Subsurface material layers or full 3D distribution of material properties
  • Pore pressure effects with piezometric surfaces or full 3D distributions of pore pressures or pressure heads
  • 3D variably saturated pressure heads or pore pressures, including the effects of unsaturated suction stresses


Download complete installation package including software and documentation (recommended).

Easy-to-install software packages for Windows or Macintosh operating systems, includes Scoops3D, Scoops3D-i, and Scoops3D manual:

Download individual components of Scoops3D package.

          Compiled code for Scoops3D for use at command line. Does not include Scoops3D-i.


  • Reid, M.E., Christian, S.B., and Brien, D.L., 2000, Gravitational stability of three-dimensional stratovolcano edifices: Journal of Geophysical Research, B, Solid Earth and Planets, v. 105, n. 3, p. 6042-6056. (PDF)
  • Reid, M.E., Sisson, T. W., and Brien, D. L., 2001, Volcano collapse promoted by hydrothermal alteration and edifice shape, Mount Rainier, Washington: Geology, v.29, n.9, p. 779-782. (PDF)
  • Vallance, J.W., Schilling, S.P., Devoli, G., Reid, M.E., Howell, M.M., and Brien, D.L. 2004, Lahar hazards at Casita and San Cristobal Volcanoes, Nicaragua: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 01-468, 18 p., 3 plates.
  • Reid, M.E. and Brien, D.L., 2006, Assessing massive flank collapse at stratovolcanoes using 3-D slope stability analysis, In Evans, S.G., Scarascia Mugnozza, G., Strom, A., and Hermanns, R.L., eds., Landslides from Massive Rock Slope Failure, NATO Science Series, v. 49, Springer, Netherlands, p. 445-458. (PDF)
  • Brien, D.L., and Reid, M.E., 2007, Modeling 3-D slope stability of coastal bluffs using 3-D ground-water flow, southwestern Seattle, Washington: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2007-5092, 54 p.
  • Brien, D.L. and Reid, M.E., 2008, Assessing deep-seated landslide susceptibility using 3-D groundwater and slope-stability analyses, southwestern Seattle, Washington, In Baum, R.L., Godt, J.W., and Highland, L.M., eds., Landslides and Engineering Geology of the Seattle, Washington, Area, Geological Society of America, Reviews in Engineering Geology, Vol. XX. p. 83-101.
  • Reid, M.E., Brien, D.L., and Waythomas, C.F., 2010, Preliminary slope-stability analysis of Augustine Volcano, chapter 14 of Power, J.A., Coombs, M.L., and Freymueller, J.T., eds., The 2006 eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1769, p. 321–332.
  • Reid, M.E., Keith, T.E.C., Kayen, R.E., Iverson, N.R., Iverson, R.M., and Brien, D.L., 2010, Volcano collapse promoted by progressive strength reduction: new data from Mount St. Helens: Bulletin of Volcanology, v. 72, p. 761-766. (PDF)
  • Reid, M.E., Christian, S.B., Brien, D.L., and Henderson, S.T., 2015, Scoops3D: Software to analyze three-dimensional slope stability throughout a digital landscape: U.S. Geological Survey Techniques and Methods, book 14, chap. A1.
  • Reid, M.E., Brien, D.L., and Waythomas, C.F., 2010, Preliminary slope-stability analysis of Augustine Volcano, chapter 14 of Power, J.A., Coombs, M.L., and Freymueller, J.T., eds., The 2006 eruption of Augustine Volcano, Alaska: U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1769, p. 321–332
  • Perkins, J.P., Reid, M.E., and Schmidt, K.M., 2017, Control of landslide volume and hazard by glacial stratigraphic architecture, northwest Washington State, USA: Geology, v. 45, n. 12, p. 1139-1142.
  • Ball, J.L., Taron, J., Reid, M.E., Hurwitz, S., Finn C., Bedrosian, P., 2018, Combining multiphase groundwater flow and slope stability models to assess stratovolcano flank collapse in the Cascade Range: Journal of Geophysical Research – Solid Earth.
  • Di Traglia, F., Nolesini, T., Solari, L., Ciampalini, A., Frodella, W., Steri, D., Allotta, B., Rindi, A., Marini, L., Monni, N., Gelardi, E., and Casagli, N., 2018, Lava delta deformation as a proxy for submarine slope instability: Earth and Planetary Science Letters: 488: 46-58.
  • Finn, C.A., Deszcz-Pan, M., Ball, J.L., Bloss, B.J., and Minsley, B.J., 2018, Three-dimensional geophysical mapping of shallow water saturated rocks at Mount Baker, Washington: Implications for slope stability: Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, v. 357, p. 261-275.
  • Ma, C., 2018, Comparing and evaluating two physically-based models: OPENLISEM and Scoops3D, for landslide volume prediction, MS thesis, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands.
  • Tran, T.V., Alvioli, M., Lee, G., An, H.U., 2018, Three-dimensional, time-dependent modeling of rainfall-induced landslides over a digital landscape: a case study: Landslides, 15(6):1071-1084.
  • Tun, Y.W., Llano-Serna, M.A., Pedroso, D.M., 2018, Multimodal reliability analysis of 3D slopes with a genetic algorithm: Acta Geotechnica, p. 1-17.