For the InstructorThis material supports the Surface Process Hazards GETSI Module. If you would like your students to have access to this material, we suggest you either point them at the Student Version which omits the framing pages with information designed for faculty (and this box). Or you can download these pages in several formats that you can include in your course website or local Learning Managment System. Learn more about using, modifying, and sharing GETSI teaching materials.
By the end of the module you will be able to
- Use geodetic data to analyze landscape characteristics and use them as indicators of mass-wasting hazards
- Articulate the societal effects of mass-wasting events and consider the role of natural and human-caused changes in the mass-wasting potential for a given landscape.
Unit 1: Slip-sliding away–case study landslides in Italy and Peru
How have mass-wasting events affected communities and what lessons have we learned from these natural disasters that might help us mitigate future hazards? In this unit, you will learn about two case studies of devastating landslides: 1970 Nevado Huascarán (Peru) and 2010 San Fratello (Sicily, Italy). Through reading and class discussion, you will be introduced to the landscape and societal characteristics that contributed to loss of property and life during the events.
- Unit 1 Student Case Study Reading - Peru and Italy PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 14.8MB Jul11 17)
Unit 2: Reading the landscape
Once your eyes learn what to recognize in a landscape, you can see so much information about the geologic history of any area, geologic hazards, and human land use. This unit will help you learn to really "see" what is in a landscape. You will learn how geologic, hydrologic, biologic, and built landscape features manifest themselves on maps. In this unit, you will use topographic maps, hillshade maps, and aerial imagery to learn to recognize a variety of landscape features and subsequently identify as many of these features as you can on a map of a new study area. You will also construct a topographic profile from the map data and use the profiles to understand the concepts of slope, aspect, and relief and how these landscape characteristics are important in hazard assessment and land-use planning.
- Landscape scavenger hunt exercise (Unit 2, Part 2)
- Unit 2 Landscape Scavenger Hunt Exercise PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 949kB Sep28 17)
- Unit 2 all poster pdf maps (Zip Archive 237.9MB Sep28 17)
- Unit 2 Google Earth Version Maps (Zip Archive 34.8MB May28 17)
- Yosemite landscape features exercise (Unit 2, Part 3)
- Unit 2: Yosemite Landscape Features Student Exercise PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 3.9MB Jul27 17)
Unit 3: Understanding landslide factors
How do slope characteristics and magnitude of forces dictate whether or not a slope will fail? Can environmental and built characteristics change the magnitude of these forces? In this unit, you will learn about the physics behind landslides. By studying slope angle, driving force, and frictional force you will learn more about predicting and hopefully preventing landslide disasters. Another map activity will help you think through how climatic, tectonic, and geologic factors, as well as population and land-use characteristics, can influence mass-wasting potential.
- Physical factors exercise (Unit 3, Part 1)
- Unit 3 Part 1 Physical Factors Student Exercise PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 1MB Jun13 17)
- Material strength exercise (Unit 3, Part 2)
- Unit 3 Part 2 Material Strength Student Exercise PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 440kB Jun13 17)
- Unit 3 Part 2 all pdf maps (Zip Archive 262.9MB Oct2 17)
Unit 4: Anatomy of a tragic slide–Oso Landslide case study
Landslides can have profound societal consequences, such as the slide that occurred near Oso, Washington, in 2014. Forty-three people were killed and entire rural neighborhood was destroyed. In this unit, you will look at the larger plate tectonic and climatic setting for the landslide and then use hillshade images, topographic maps, and InSAR (interferometric synthetic aperture radar) to determine relationships between landscape characteristics and different types of mass wasting events. You will conclude by considering the societal costs of such a disaster and ways that communities can reduce risk in similar situations.
- Washington and Oso climate exercise (Unit 4 Part 1)
- Unit 4 Oso landslide exercise PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 16.6MB Aug28 17)
- Washington precipitation map (Acrobat (PDF) 1.2MB Feb25 16)
- Oso Landslide case study exercise (Unit 4 Part 2)
Unit 5: Mitigating future disasters—developing a mass-wasting hazard map
In this final unit you will act as a scientist, using geologic, climate, and societal data to evaluate an area's vulnerability to mass wasting. The case study area is Boulder Creek, Colorado, which had significant landsliding during a major rain event in 2013. You will use aerial imagery, topographic maps, bedrock and surficial geologic maps, slope/aspect maps, hillshade imagery, stream maps, and population-density maps to evaluate mass–wasting hazards. Building on what you learned throughout the earlier units, you will construct a hazard map for the study area and consider the impacts of a mass–wasting event on the area's inhabitants.
- Unit 5 Student Instructions for Final Hazard Map & Report PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 373kB Jun21 17)
- Unit 5 all poster pdf maps (Zip Archive 32.8MB Jun7 17)
- Unit 5 Google Earth Version Maps (Zip Archive 25MB May18 16)