William Schulz


I have worked as a research geologist in the Landslide Hazards Program of the U.S. Geological Survey since 2002. Prior to that, I worked in the private sector in California and Wisconsin, mostly investigating landslides and seismogenic ground displacement. My research primarily focuses on understanding conditions that result in the diverse characteristics of landslide motion, although I am also very interested in understanding controls of the onset of landslide movement and reactivation. My work includes characterizing and monitoring landslides in the field, laboratory testing, mathematical modeling, and assessing landslide hazards.


University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, B.S., 1994, Geology

Purdue University, M.S., 1996, Engineering Geology

Kyoto University, Ph.D., 2020, Geophysics


Hughes, K.S., and Schulz, W.H., 2020, Map depicting susceptibility to landslides triggered by intense rainfall, Puerto Rico: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2020–1022, 91 p., 1 plate, scale 1:150000, https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20201022.

Hughes, K. Stephen, and Schulz, William H., 2020, Results from frequency-ratio analyses of soil classification and land use related to landslide locations in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria: U.S. Geological Survey, https://doi.org/10.5066/P9VK2FAL.

Thomas, A.M., Spica, Z., Bodmer, M., Schulz, W.H., and Roering, J.J., 2020, Using a dense seismic array to determine structure and site effects of the Two Towers earthflow in northern California: Seismol. Res. Lett., v. XX, p. 1–8, doi: 10.1785/0220190206.

Bessette-Kirton, E.K., Cerovski-Darriau, C., Schulz, W.H., Coe, J.A., Kean, J.W., Godt, J.W., Thomas, M.A. and Hughes, K.S., 2019, Landslides triggered by Hurricane Maria: Assessment of an extreme event in Puerto Rico: GSA Today, v. 29, no. 6.

Bessette-Kirton, E.K., Coe, J.A., Kelly, M.A., Cerovski-Darriau, C. and Schulz, W.H., 2019, Map data from landslides triggered by Hurricane Maria in four study areas of Puerto Rico: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/P9OW4SLX.

Handwerger, A.L., Fielding, E.J., Huang, M.H., Bennett, G.L., Liang, C. and Schulz, W.H., 2019, Widespread initiation, reactivation, and acceleration of landslides in the northern California Coast Ranges due to extreme rainfall: Journal of Geophysical Research: Earth Surface, v. 124, https://doi.org/10.1029/2019JF005035.

Hughes, K.S., Bayouth García, D., Martínez Milian, G.O., Schulz, W.H., and Baum, R.L., 2019, Map of slope-failure locations in Puerto Rico after Hurricane María: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/P9BVMD74.

Schulz, W.H., Smith, J.B., Wang, G., Jiang, Y., Deuell, A., Reeves, R.R., Handwerger, A.L., and Roering, J.J., 2018, Data from in-situ landslide monitoring, Trinity County, California: U.S. Geological Survey, https://doi.org/10.5066/F7GF0SFS.

Schulz, W.H., Smith, J.B., Wang, G., Jiang, Y., and Roering, J.J., 2018, Clayey landslide initiation and acceleration strongly modulated by soil swelling: Geophysical Research Letters, v. 45, p. 1888-1896. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017GL076807.

Gomberg, J.S., Ludwig, K.A., Bekins, B.A., Brocher, T.M., Brock, J.C., Brothers, Daniel, Chaytor, J.D., Frankel, A.D., Geist, E.L., Haney, Matthew, Hickman, S.H., Leith, W.S., Roeloffs, E.A., Schulz, W.H., Sisson, T.W., Wallace, Kristi, Watt, J.T., and Wein, Anne, 2017, Reducing risk where tectonic plates collide—U.S. Geological Survey subduction zone science plan: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1428, 45 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/cir1428.

Schulz, W.H., Coe, J.A., Ricci, P.P., Smoczyk, G.M., Shurtleff, B.L., and Panosky, J., 2017, Landslide kinematics and their potential controls from hourly to decadal timescales: Insights from integrating ground-based InSAR measurements with structural maps and long-term monitoring data: Geomorphology, doi:10.1016/j.geomorph.2017.02.011.

Schulz, W.H., Coe, J.A., Ricci, P.P., Smoczyk, G.M., Shurtleff, B.L., Panosky, J., and Jones, E.S., 2016, Data related to a ground-based InSAR survey of the Slumgullion landslide, Hinsdale County, Colorado, 26 June 2010-1 July 2010: US Geological Survey data release, doi: 10.5066/F7TX3CFW.

Delbridge, B.G., Bürgmann, R., Fielding, E., Hensley, S., and Schulz, W.H., 2016, Three-dimensional surface deformation derived from airborne interferometric UAVSAR: Application to the Slumgullion Landslide: Journal of Geophysical Research, Solid Earth, doi:10.1002/2015JB012559.

Iverson, R.M., George, D.L., Allstadt, K., Reid, M.E., Collins, B.D., Vallance, J.W., Schilling, S.P., Godt, J.W., Cannon, C.M., Magirl, C.S., Baum, R.L., Coe, J.A., Schulz, W.H., and Bower, J.B., 2015, Landslide mobility and hazards: implications of the 2014 Oso disaster: Earth and Planetary Science Letters, v. 412, p. 197-208, doi: 10.1016/j.epsl.2014.12.020.

Milillo, P., Fielding, E.J., Schulz, W.H., Delbridge, B., and Bürgmann, R., 2014, COSMO-SkyMed spotlight interferometry over rural areas: the Slumgullion landslide in Colorado, USA:  IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing, v. 7, no. 7, doi:10.1109/JSTARS.2014.2345664.

Schulz, W.H. and Wang, G., 2014, Residual shear strength variability as a primary control on movement of landslides reactivated by earthquake-induced ground motion: Implications for coastal Oregon, USA: Journal of Geophysical Research, Earth Surface, doi:10.1002/2014JF003088.

Baum, R.L., Schulz, W.H., Brien, D.L., Burns, W.J., Reid, M.E., and Godt, J.W., 2014, Progress in regional landslide hazard assessment – examples from the USA: in K. Sassa (ed.), Landslide Science for a Safer Geo-Environment, v. 1, Springer International Publishing, Switzerland, p. 21-36, doi:10.1007/978-3-319-04999-1_2.

Walter, M., Gomberg, J., Schulz, W., Bodin, P., and Joswig, M., 2013, Slidequake generation versus viscous creep at softrock-landslides: synopsis of three different scenarios at Slumgullion landslide, Heumoes slope, and Super-Sauze mudslide: Journal of Environmental and Engineering Geophysics, v. 18, iss. 4, p. 269-280.

Wang, G., Araiba, K., Miao, H., and Schulz, W.H., 2012, The internal structure of some landslide dams triggered by the 2011 Typhoon Talas in Japan and their stability: in Proceedings of the 5th Taiwan-Japan Joint Workshop on Geotechnical Hazards from Large Earthquakes and Heavy Rainfall, 12-15 Nov. 2012, Tainan, Taiwan, Taiwan Geotechnical Society.

Schulz, W.H., Coe, J.A., Shurtleff, B.L., Panosky, J., Farina, P., Ricci, P.P., and Barsacchi, G., 2012, Kinematics of the Slumgullion landslide revealed by ground-based InSAR surveys, in Eberhardt, E., Froese, C., Turner, A.K., and Leroueil, S., eds., Landslides and Engineered Slopes, Protecting Society through Improved Understanding, v. 2: London, Taylor & Francis Group, p. 1273-1279.

Schulz, W.H., Galloway, S.L., and Higgins, J.D., 2012, Evidence for earthquake triggering of large landslides in coastal Oregon, USA: Geomorphology, v. 141-142, p. 88-98.

Reid, M.E., LaHusen, R.G., Baum, R.L., Kean, J.W., Schulz, W.H., and Highland, L.M., 2012, Real-time monitoring of landslides: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2012-3008, 4 p.

Priest, G.R., Schulz, W.H., Ellis, W.L., Allan, J.A., Niem, A.R., and Niem, W.A., 2011, Landslide stability: role of rainfall-induced, laterally propagating, pore-pressure waves: Environmental & Engineering Geoscience, v. XVII, no. 4, p. 315-335.

Gomberg, J.S., Schulz, W.H., Bodin, P., and Kean, J.W., 2011, Seismic and geodetic signatures of fault slip at the Slumgullion landslide natural laboratory: J. Geophys. Res., v. 116, B09404, doi:10.1029/2011JB008304.

Gonghui Wang, Akira Suemine, and Schulz, W.H., 2010, Shear-rate-dependent strength control on the dynamics of rainfall-triggered landslides, Tokushima Prefecture, Japan: Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, doi:10.1002/esp.1937.

Schulz, W.H., Kean, J.W., and Wang, G., 2009, Landslide movement in southwest Colorado triggered by atmospheric tides: Nature Geoscience, v. 2, no. 12, p. 863-866.

Schulz, W.H., McKenna, J.P., Biavati, Giulia, and Kibler, J.D., 2009, Relations between hydrology and velocity of a continuously moving landslide - evidence of pore-pressure feedback regulating landslide motion?: Landslides, v. 6, iss. 3, p. 181-190.

Godt, J.W., Baum, R.L., Savage, W.Z., Salciarini, Diana, Schulz, W.H., and Harp, E.L., 2008, Transient deterministic shallow landslide modeling: requirements for susceptibility and hazard assessments in a GIS framework: Engineering Geology, v. 102, p. 214-226.

Godt, J. W., Schulz, W. H., Baum, R. L., and Savage, W. Z., 2008, Modeling rainfall conditions for shallow landsliding in 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, v. XX, p. 137-152.

Schulz, W.H., Harp, E.L., and Jibson, R.W., 2008, Characteristics of large rock avalanches triggered by the November 3, 2002 Denali Fault earthquake, Alaska, USA, in Zuyu Chen, Jianmin Zhang, Zhongkui Li, Faquan Wu, and Ken Ho, eds., Landslides and engineered slopes, from the past to the future, v. 2, p. 1447-1453.

Schulz, W.H., Lidke, D.J., and Godt, J.W., 2008, Modeling the spatial distribution of landslide-prone colluvium and shallow groundwater on hillslopes of Seattle, Washington: Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, v. 33, p. 123-141.

Coe, J.A., Baum, R.L., Ellis, W.L., Godt, J.W., Harp, E.L., Highland, L.M., McKenna, J.P, Schulz, W.H., and Reid, M.E., 2007, Overview of the USGS landslide research in Oregon: in Burns, W.J. and Wang, Yumei, compilers, Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries Open-File Report O-07-06, p. 15.

Coe, J.A. (editor), Bigio, E. R., Blair, R.W., Jr., Burke, M., Cannon, S.H., deWolfe, V.G., Ey, J., Gartner, J.E., Gillam, M.L., Knowlton, N.D., Santi, P.M., and Schulz, W.H., 2007, Mass wasting following the 2002 Missionary Ridge fire near Durango, Colorado, a field trip guidebook: U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 2007-1289, 54 p.

Ellis, W.L, Schulz, W.H., Baum, R.L., and Priest, G.R., 2007, Hydrogeologic investigations of the Johnson Creek landslide; recent data, results, and future plans: in Burns, W.J. and Wang, Yumei, compilers, Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries Open-File Report O-07-06, p. 34-35.

Ellis, W.L., Schulz, W.H., and Priest, G.R., 2007, Precipitation, pore pressure, and landslide movement - detailed observations at the Johnson Creek landslide, coastal Oregon, in Schaefer, V.R., Schuster, R.L., and Turner, A.K., eds., 1st North American Landslide Conference, Vail, Colo., June 3-8, 2007, Proceedings: AEG Special Publication No. 23., p. 921-934.

Schulz, W.H., 2007, Estimating landslide susceptibility on a regional basis using LIDAR imagery and historical records: in Burns, W.J. and Wang, Yumei, compilers, Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries Open-File Report O-07-06, p. 47.

Schulz, W.H., 2007, Landslide susceptibility revealed by LIDAR imagery and historical records, Seattle, Washington: Engineering Geology, v. 89, p. 67-87.

Schulz, W.H., and Ellis, W.L., 2007, Preliminary results of subsurface exploration and monitoring at the Johnson Creek landslide, Lincoln County, Oregon: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2007-1127, 11 p., 1 appendix.

Schulz, W.H., Highland, L.M., Ellis, W.L., Gori, P.L., Baum, R.L., Coe, J.A., and Savage, W.Z., 2007, The Slumgullion landslide, Hinsdale County, Colorado, in Noe, D.C., and Coe, J.A., eds., 1st North American Landslide Conference, Vail, Colo., June 3-8, 2007, Field Trip Guidebooks: Association of Environmental and Engineering Geologists Special Publication Number 21 and Colorado Geological Survey Special Publication 56.

Schulz, W.H., McKenna, J.P., Biavati, Giulia, and Kibler, J.D., 2007, Characteristics of Slumgullion Landslide inferred from subsurface exploration, in-situ and laboratory testing, and monitoring, inSchaefer, V.R., Schuster, R.L., and Turner, A.K., eds., 1st North American Landslide Conference, Vail, Colo., June 3-8, 2007, Proceedings: AEG Special Publication No. 23, p. 1084-1097.

Jibson, R.W., Harp, E.L., Schulz, W.H., and Keefer, D.K., 2006, Large rock avalanches triggered by the M 7.9 Denali Fault, Alaska, earthquake of 3 November 2002: Engineering Geology, v. 83, p. 144-160.

Schulz, W.H., Coe, J.A., Ellis, W.L., and Kibler, J.D., 2006, Preliminary assessment of landslides along the Florida River downstream from Lemon Reservoir, La Plata County, Colorado: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2006-1343, 29 p., 1 plate.

Baum, R.L., Coe, J.A., Godt, J.W., Harp, E.L., Reid, M.E., Savage, W.Z., Schulz, W.H., Brien, D.L., Chleborad, A.F., McKenna, J.P., and Michael, J.A., 2005, Regional landslide-hazard assessment for Seattle, Washington, USA: Landslides, v.2, p. 266-279, doi:10.1007/s10346-005-0023-y.

Schulz, W.H., 2005, Landslide susceptibility estimated from LIDAR mapping and historical records for Seattle, Washington: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2005-1405, 13 p., 1 plate.

Ellis, W.L., Schuster, R.L., and Schulz, W.H., 2004, Assessment of hazards associated with the Bluegill landslide, south-central Idaho: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2004-1054, 16 p.

Jibson, R.W., Harp, E.L., Schulz, W.H., and Keefer, D.K., 2004, Landslides triggered by the 2002 Denali Fault, Alaska, earthquake and the inferred nature of the strong shaking: Earthquake Spectra, v. 20, issue 3, p. 669-691.

Schulz, W.H., 2004, Landslides mapped using LIDAR imagery, Seattle, Washington: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2004-1396, 11 p., 1 plate.

Schulz, W.H., and McKenna, J.P., 2004, Engineering geologic conditions at the sinkhole entrance to Logan Cave, Benton County, Arkansas: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2004-1357, 15 p., 2 appendices, 1 plate.