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As Coordinator of the Landslide Hazards Program, I am responsible for scientific direction and priorities of the only federal program devoted to landslide science and risk reduction.
Dr. Godt began his career with the USGS as a graduate student with a research focus on monitoring and understanding the hydrology and mechanics of landslide initiation. He has a B.A. in Political Science from Purdue University, and a B.S. in Environmental Science and a Ph.D. in Geography from the Univeristy of Colorado.
Publications listed in Google Scholar
Science and Products
Preliminary Analysis of Satellite Imagery and Seismic Observations of the Nuugaatsiaq Landslide and Tsunami, Greenland
This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely science to assess ongoing hazards. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages...
Landslide Susceptibility Data and Maps provide tools for hazard assessment prior to an event that may cause landslides.
Fluid injection induced seismicity has been reported since the 1960s. There are currently more than 150,000 injection wells associated with oil and gas production in 34 states in the conterminous US. Pore pressure disturbance caused by injection is generally considered the culprit for injection induced seismicity, but, not all injection causes seismicity. It is not well understood what...
Tropical storm-induced landslide potential using combined field monitoring and numerical modeling
When heavy rainfall, such as that associated with tropical storms, falls on steep hillsides, shallow landslides are often one of the damaging consequences. To assess landslide potential from heavy rainfall, a strategy of combined numerical simulation and field monitoring of variably saturated hillslope conditions is developed. To test the combined...Chen, Pan; Lu, Ning; Formetta, Giuseppe; Godt, Jonathan W.; Wayllace, Alexandra
Science for a risky world—A U.S. Geological Survey plan for risk research and applications
Executive SummaryNatural hazards—including earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, landslides, hurricanes, droughts, floods, wildfires, geomagnetic storms, and pandemics—can wreak havoc on human communities, the economy, and natural resources for years following an initial event. Hazards can claim lives and cause billions of dollars in damage...Ludwig, K.A.; Ramsey, David W.; Wood, Nathan J.; Pennaz, A.B.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Plant, Nathaniel G.; Luco, Nicolas; Koenig, Todd A.; Hudnut, Kenneth W.; Davis, Donyelle K.; Bright, Patricia R.
Field and laboratory hydraulic characterization of landslide-prone soils in the Oregon Coast Range and implications for hydrologic simulation
Unsaturated zone flow processes are an important focus of landslide hazard estimation. Differences in soil hydraulic behavior between wetting and drying conditions (i.e., hydraulic hysteresis) may be important in landslide triggering. Hydraulic hysteresis can complicate soil hydraulic parameter estimates and impact prediction capability. This...Ebel, Brian A.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Lu, Ning; Coe, Jeffrey A.; Smith, Joel B.; Baum, Rex L.
Landslides triggered by the 14 November 2016 Mw 7.8 Kaikōura Earthquake, New Zealand
The 14 November 2016 Mw">MwMw 7.8 Kaikōura earthquake generated more than 10,000 landslides over a total area of about 10,000  km2">10,000 km210,000 km2, with the majority concentrated in a smaller area of about 3600  km2">3600 km23600 km2. The largest landslide triggered...Massey, C.; Townsend, D.; Rathje, Ellen M.; Allstadt, Kate E.; Lukovic, B.; Kaneko, Yoshihiro; Bradley, Brendon A.; Wartman, J.; Jibson, Randall W.; Petley, D. N.; Horspool, Nick; Hamling, I.; Carey, J.; Cox, S.; Davidson, John; Dellow, S.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Holden, Christopher; Jones, Katherine D.; Kaiser, Anna E.; Little, M.; Lyndsell, B.; McColl, S.; Morgenstern, R.; Rengers, Francis K.; Rhoades, D.; Rosser, B.; Strong, D.; Singeisen, C.; Villeneuve, M.
Strong variation in weathering of layered rock maintains hillslope‐scale strength under high precipitation
The evolution of volcanic landscapes and their landslide potential are both dependent upon the weathering of layered volcanic rock sequences. We characterize critical zone structure using shallow seismic Vp and Vs profiles and vertical exposures of rock across a basaltic climosequence on Kohala peninsula, Hawai’i, and exploit...Von Voigtlander, Jennifer; Clark, Marin K.; Zekkos, Dimitrios; Greenwood, William W.; Anderson, Suzanne P.; Anderson, Robert S.; Godt, Jonathan W.
Improving near‐real‐time coseismic landslide models: Lessons learned from the 2016 Kaikōura, New Zealand, earthquake
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is developing near‐real‐time global earthquake‐triggered‐landslide products to augment the USGS Prompt Assessment of Global Earthquakes for Response (PAGER) system. The 14 November 2016 Mw">MwMw 7.8 Kaikōura, New Zealand, earthquake provided a test case for evaluating the performance and near‐real‐...Allstadt, Kate E.; Jibson, Randall W.; Thompson, Eric M.; Massey, Chris; Wald, David J.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Rengers, Francis K.
Overview of the geologic effects of the November 14, 2016, Mw 7.8 Kaikoura, New Zealand, earthquake
The November 14, 2016, Kaikoura, New Zealand, earthquake (moment magnitude [Mw] 7.8) triggered more than 10,000 landslides over an area of about 12,000 square kilometers in the northeastern part of the South Island of New Zealand. In collaboration with GNS Science (the Institute of Geological and Nuclear Science Limited), we conducted ground and...Jibson, Randall W.; Allstadt, Kate E.; Rengers, Francis K.; Godt, Jonathan W.
Variability in soil-water retention properties and implications for physics-based simulation of landslide early warning criteria
Rainfall-induced shallow landsliding is a persistent hazard to human life and property. Despite the observed connection between infiltration through the unsaturated zone and shallow landslide initiation, there is considerable uncertainty in how estimates of unsaturated soil-water retention properties affect slope stability assessment. This source...Thomas, Matthew A.; Mirus, Benjamin B.; Collins, Brian D.; Lu, Ning; Godt, Jonathan W.
The size, distribution, and mobility of landslides caused by the 2015 Mw7.8 Gorkha earthquake, Nepal
Coseismic landslides pose immediate and prolonged hazards to mountainous communities, and provide a rare opportunity to study the effect of large earthquakes on erosion and sediment budgets. By mapping landslides using high-resolution satellite imagery, we find that the 25 April 2015 Mw7.8 Gorkha earthquake and aftershock sequence produced at...Roback, Kevin; Clark, Marin K.; West, A. Joshua; Zekkos, Dimitrios; Li, Gen; Gallen, Sean F.; Chamlagain, Deepak; Godt, Jonathan W.
An open repository of earthquake-triggered ground-failure inventories
Earthquake-triggered ground failure, such as landsliding and liquefaction, can contribute significantly to losses, but our current ability to accurately include them in earthquake-hazard analyses is limited. The development of robust and widely applicable models requires access to numerous inventories of ground failures triggered by earthquakes...Schmitt, Robert G.; Tanyas, Hakan; Nowicki Jessee, M. Anna; Zhu, Jing; Biegel, Katherine M.; Allstadt, Kate E.; Jibson, Randall W.; Thompson, Eric M.; van Westen, Cees J.; Sato, Hiroshi P.; Wald, David J.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Gorum, Tolga; Xu, Chong; Rathje, Ellen M.; Knudsen, Keith L.
Presentation and analysis of a worldwide database of earthquake-induced landslide inventories
Earthquake-induced landslide (EQIL) inventories are essential tools to extend our knowledge of the relationship between earthquakes and the landslides they can trigger. Regrettably, such inventories are difficult to generate and therefore scarce, and the available ones differ in terms of their quality and level of completeness. Moreover, access to...Tanyas, Hakan; van Westen, Cees J.; Allstadt, Kate E.; Nowicki Jessee, M. Anna; Gorum, Tolga; Jibson, Randall W.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Sato, Hiroshi P.; Schmitt, Robert G.; Marc, Odin; Hovius, Niels
Results of hydrologic monitoring of a landslide-prone hillslope in Portland’s West Hills, Oregon, 2006–2017
The West Hills of Portland, in the southern Tualatin Mountains, trend northwest along the west side of Portland, Oregon. These silt-mantled mountains receive significant wet-season precipitation and are prone to sliding during wet conditions, occasionally resulting in property damage or casualties. In an effort to develop a baseline for...Smith, Joel B.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Baum, Rex L.; Coe, Jeffrey A.; Ellis, William L.; Jones, Eric S.; Burns, Scott F.