On the Cutting Edge - Professional Development for Geoscience Faculty
Teaching about Hazards in Geoscience
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Cutting Edge > Hazards > Landslides


Landslides are rivers of rock, earth, and other debris saturated with water and can cause massive damage in a very short time along their path. Landslides can also be related to other hazards such as wildfires, earthquakes, and tsunamis so they can serve as a bridge between instructional units.

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Sources of Data and Information

USGS Landslide Hazards Program (more info) This site is the homepage of the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) Landslide Hazards Program (LHP). Materials available include an overview of the geologic hazard presented by landslides, a discussion of the objectives and operations of LHP, and links to program staff. The site also provides a link to the National Landslide Information Center (NLIC), which is responsible for distributing information about landslides to the public, researchers, planners, and local, state, and federal agencies. There are additional links to news articles and publications, reports on specific hazards encountered in Seattle, Washington, and a link to the LHP's five-year plan, which presents the agency's long-term goals in assessing, monitoring, and mitigating landslide hazards.

Landslide Hazards (more info) This fact sheet provides an overview of the hazards presented by landslides and debris flows, particluarly in wet weather conditions in landslide-prone areas. Topics include a discussion of the characteristics of debris flows, and suggestions for residents who live in steep, hilly terrain which is subject to periodic heavy rains.

USGS National Landslide Information Center (more info) United States Geological Survey (USGS) scientists are working to reduce long-term losses and casualties from landslide hazards through better understanding of the causes and mechanisms of ground failure both nationally and worldwide. The NLIC is responsible for distributing information about landslides to the lay public, researchers, planners, and local, state, and federal agencies. Current USGS landslide projects are discussed, including wildfire debris flow studies, and landslides caused by hurricanes. A search engine aids in discovery of USGS landslide-related documents.

Landslide and Debris Flow (Mudslide) (more info) This page from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is a description of landslides from their database of potential disasters. Links are provided to strategies that can be taken before, during, and after a landslide to minimize the damage and danger to people and property.

California Geological Survey - Landslides (more info) This page from the CA Geological Survey (CGS) presents information on landslides as well as maps and products of various past and present CGS programs to map and respond to landslides in the state of California, including the Forest and Watershed Geology Program, the Seismic Hazards Zonation Program, the Caltrans Highway Corridor Mapping project, and the Landslide Map Index.

The Landslide Blog - AGU Blogosphere Dave Petley is the Wilson Professor of Hazard and Risk in the Department of Geography at Durham University in the United Kingdom. His blog provides a commentary on landslide events occurring worldwide, including the landslides themselves, latest research, and conferences and meetings.

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