Landslides Research in the Eastern U.S.
Landslide occurrence in the eastern United States is commonly associated with record or near record storms that can cause abundant landslides in regions that vary in size from multiple states to metropolitan areas. This project focuses on identifying the meteorological, hydrologic, and geologic conditions that contribute to abundant landslide events. The work consists of landslide mapping and characterization, identification of landslide initiation processes, and development of landslide forecast models. Landslide mapping and characterization is ongoing following abundant landslide events in Nashville, Tennessee (May 2010), Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (2004 and 2011), and in the Catskills area, New York (August 2011). Field investigations began in 2012 in the Catskills of New York to identify the initiation processes associated with the abundant debris flows and debris floods triggered by heavy rainfall during Hurricane Irene in 2011. Continuous monitoring of conditions and movement at representative landslides in specific landslide-prone regions in the eastern United States is critical to developing landslide forecast models. To date, two landslide monitoring stations are operational in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Schenevus, New York. Installation of two more stations, one in Nashville, Tennessee, and one in Blenheim, New York, are planned in 2014. contact: Francis Ashland