Geopic of the week: Landslides

landslide geopic

Here’s a picture of a recent landslide that took out a gravel road south of Greers Ferry Lake in north central Arkansas.  Landslides are one of the natural phenomenon that earth scientists refer to as geohazards.  It’s impossible to predict where and when a landslide will occur, but there are known conditions that make certain landscapes more prone to sliding.

In Arkansas, conditions that can lead to landslides include steep slopes, and poorly cohesive soil or bedrock – such as shale or alluvium.  Land where vegetation has been cleared is also more likely to fail.  Many landslides occur after periods of prolonged heavy rainfall, though that’s a factor that can’t be avoided.  One of the best ways to determine if an area is prone to landslides is to look for evidence of past slides;  If slopes have failed in the past, it’s likely they will fail again.

If you are developing property or are looking at property to purchase, you should consider whether it is in a landslide prone area.   You can always contact a friendly geologist at the Arkansas Geological Survey and ask them their opinion.

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