RFG 2018 Conference


A Homeowner's Guide to Landslides for Washington and Oregon

This pamphlet for homeowners provides information about landslides as it realtes to their home and property. It includes information about landslide warning signs and who to contact if homeowners suspect active landslides on their property. This guide was developed by the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The 3D Elevation Program: Landslide recognition, hazard assessment, and mitigation support

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Landslide Hazards Program conducts landslide hazard assessments, pursues landslide investigations and forecasts, provides technical assistance to respond to landslide emergencies, and engages in outreach. All of these activities benefit from the availability of high-resolution, three-dimensional (3D) elevation information in the form of light detection and ranging (lidar) data and interferometric synthetic aperture radar (IfSAR) data. Research on landslide processes addresses critical questions of where and when landslides are likely to occur as well as their size, speed, and effects. This understanding informs the development of methods and tools for hazard assessment and situational awareness used to guide efforts to avoid or mitigate landslide impacts. Such research is essential for the USGS to provide improved information on landslide potential associated with severe storms, earthquakes, volcanic activity, coastal wave erosion, and wildfire burn areas.

Decision makers in government and the private sector increasingly depend on information the USGS provides before, during, and following disasters so that communities can live, work, travel, and build safely. The USGS 3D Elevation Program (3DEP) provides the programmatic infrastructure to generate and supply lidar-derived superior terrain data to address landslide applications and a wide range of other urgent needs nationwide. By providing data to users, 3DEP reduces users’ costs and risks and allows them to concentrate on their mission objectives. 3DEP includes (1) data acquisition partnerships that leverage funding, (2) contracts with experienced private mapping firms, (3) technical expertise, lidar data standards, and specifications, and (4) most important, public access to high-quality 3D elevation data.

An App That Brings Home Your Seismic Hazard

Do you know the earthquake risk in your neighborhood? If not, that information is now available in the palm of your hand. Founded by two former U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) employees, Temblor is a free app that allows people to view interactive seismic hazard maps on their smartphones, tablets or computers. It also teaches U.S. homeowners to factor earthquake and landslide risk into their financial decisions, like where to live and what insurance to buy. The February issue of EARTH Magazine takes a closer a look at Temblor, highlighting the app's recent successes and goals for the future.

Slow-moving slides may be triggered by cold temperatures

Slow-moving landslides, while not as dramatic as their faster-moving counterparts, can damage infrastructure and cause headaches for the communities they affect. Slow-moving slides are generally associated with rainfall or snowmelt, but a new study in Japan has shown that some of these slides may occur when a certain kind of clay is exposed to cold temperatures. In the January issue of EARTH Magazine, the link between ground temperature and slow slides is explored, including implications for the science of predicting similar landslides around the world.


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