Keith Hautala

By

Landslides: A Threat in Kentucky Too

Published: Mar 27, 2014

LEXINGTON, Ky. (March 27, 2014) — Kentucky geologists say Saturday morning's landslide in rural Snohomish County, Wa., should serve as a reminder that other parts of the country, including the Commonwealth, face similar threats.

 

The incident in Washington state, reported to cover about a square mile, occurred as a result of recent heavy rains that saturated the ground. Kentucky has also been affected by landslides, though most of them are not as large or devastating as the Washington state slide.

 

The Kentucky Geological Survey (KGS) at the University of Kentucky is compiling a landslide inventory database to better document the distribution and geologic context of Kentucky’s landslides.

 

“The purpose of the database is to provide users easy access to landslide information, raise awareness of landslide causes, and avoid property damage or injury,” says Matt Crawford, who maintains the database at KGS. “Landslides are more likely to occur in areas of existing slides, because the rocks and soil are already weakened, although the style and rate of movement may be different.”


Knowing landslide locations and their relationship to geologic properties (bedding, mineral composition, porosity, slope, thickness, strength, etc.) can mitigate potential problems associated with construction of roads, foundations, and bridges, and contribute to overall practical hillslope development.


“Landslide” is a broad term referring to the downslope movement of rock, soil, or both under the influence of gravity. The type of material in a landslide and its style of movement influences decisions needed for hazard mitigation and risk reduction. The majority of landslides in Kentucky occur within colluvial soils or along the soil-bedrock contact. Colluvial soils are formed by weathering and erosion of rock and soil accompanied by downslope movement by gravity. When disturbed or loaded, by heavy rainfall saturating a slope, for example, these soils are susceptible to landslides.


The Greater Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky area and Eastern Kentucky are particularly susceptible to landslides. These areas have steep slopes, easily weathered rock types, and locally thick, weak soils. When combined with several triggers such as intense rainfall, water-level change, or modification of slopes by humans, landslides can occur. Crawford and others at KGS have visited multiple landslide sites to assess them and help local governments with long-term solutions.


Local governments and regional planning agencies have requested his help with assessing damaging incidents in Lawrence and Boyd Counties, where homeowners have been forced to move out after sudden movement of the ground undermined their homes. Crawford has monitored a landslide in rural Boyd County, where a home has been abandoned. He used soil sampling and instruments to determine groundwater levels, the speed of the ground movement, and the depth and shape of the sliding groundmass at the site.


In addition to the landslide inventory and site assessments, a study correlating highway maintenance-cost data for landslides and rockfalls to geologic units has been recently completed by another KGS researcher. Seven years of Kentucky Transportation Cabinet data were analyzed to determine the geologic and geographic context of slides and falls that cost $37.4 million in repairs. Bethany Overfield found that not all geologic units have an equal likelihood for these hazards. According to Overfield, repair-cost analysis highlighted geologic units that were the most costly to maintain and most frequently repaired. This analysis provides transportation engineers and planners with a predictive tool for better assessing future roadway construction and budgets.


KGS has resources available to help people find out more about landslides in this region. Information, photos, and a KGS fact sheet are available at www.uky.edu/KGS/geologichazards/landslide.htm.

 

The KGS landslide database was used to create an online landslide information map that shows locations of known landslides and areas susceptible to landslides in a geologic and geomorphic context. It can be seen at kgs.uky.edu/kgsmap/kgsgeoserver/viewer.asp?layoutid=25#.

 

KGS partnered with the geological surveys of Indiana and Ohio, as well as the University of Cincinnati geology department, to produce a detailed pamphlet about the region’s landslide conditions. Duke Energy provided funding to print “Landslides and Your Property” in 2013. Folded, ready-to-use paper copies are available from the KGS Public Information Center on the UK campus for $4 each. They may be ordered by calling 859-257-3896 or toll-free at 1-877-778-7827 and asking for publication 17740. A low-resolution version of the publication can also be viewed at kgs.uky.edu/kgsweb/olops/pub/kgs/LandslidesBrochure.pdf.

 

 

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Keith Hautala, 859-323-2396; keith.hautala@uky.edu

a.jpgb.jpgc.jpgd.jpge.jpg
Tags:
November
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
College of Pharmacy Open House
Iron Pour
UK Women's Choir 20th Anniversary Concert
Adventure Hiking & Rappelling @ Red River Gorge
Pickin' Time Mountain Music and Harvest Day
Purposeful Retirement: Planning Your Next Stage of Life
Diwali Dhoom 2014
Sat
2
UK Percussion Ensemble
Day Hike
Curator Tour: Take My Word For It
Sun
3
Industry Career Week: Resumes and Cover Letters
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Morehead State
Mon
4
Industry Career Week: How to Impress Your Boss in 90 Days
Rock Star Professionalism Series
UK Lab Band
Tue
5
Industry Career Week: Networking and Job Search
Social Enterprise and Innovation / Certified Nonprofit Professional Program Informational Meeting
Circle of Love Name Distribution
Appalachian Forum with Dr. Fran Ansley
Dana Harper Gallery Reception
Wed
6
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Zona Sur
LNFS Presents: The Grand Budapest Hotel
UK Jazz Ensemble
Circle of Love Name Distribution
Abstract Workshop
Lauren Potter
Thu
7
LNFS Presents: V for Vendetta
Last Day to Withdraw or Reduce Course Load
Circle of Love Name Distribution
R.C. May Photography Lecture Series: Marvin Heiferman
Men's Soccer vs. Charlotte
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Georgia
Free Friday Evening Swing Dance
Fri
8
Kentucky Football vs. Georgia
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
The Power of Poetry
The Lexington Lowdown and Free Lindy Hop Workshop
Swing Dance Featuring Live music by"The Metrognomes Orchestra"
Sat
9
UK Combos Concert
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Missouri
Sun
10
Circle of Love Name Distribution
Mon
11
UK Sax Ensembles
Job Club - Interviewing Strategies
Undergraduate Research Information Session
Jose Abisambra Presentation on Current Alzheimer's Research
Women of the World: Judy Smith
Tue
12
Internship Info Session
LNFS Presents: Reservoir Dogs
Refugee Life in America
#UKEDTALKS: International Opportunities for Education Majors
Leadership Assessment
Wed
13
Career Assessment Workshop
LNFS Presents: Iron Man 3
Chili and Pie Cook-Off Supper
#TrendingTopics: Vegetarians vs. Meat-Eaters
Campus Polar Plunge to benefit Special Olympics KY
LNFS Presents: La Demora
Thu
14
LNFS Presents: Pretty in Pink
LNFS Presents: Mean Girls
Fri
15
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Sat
16
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Florida
Greek Cinematography: Critical Approach and Discussion
"Storied Streets" Documentary Showing about Experiences of Homelessness
Sun
17
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
UK Rep Bands Concert
College of Agriculture, Food & Environment 2014 Celebration of Land-Grant Research
Amanda Rogers, "Black Flags, ISIS 'Swag' & Jihadi Rap: Marketing Militancy after the Arab Spring"
Stories of Homelessness: Panel Discussion
Mon
18
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
A Positive Approach to Caregiving Conference
Education Abroad Open House
CatWatch Party
Appalachian Forum and Film Screening of "Up the Ridge"
Tue
19
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
LNFS Presents: The Princess and the Frog
Pinterest Party
International Games Day
Global Design with Phil Duncan
Caregiver Support Group
OXFAM Social Issues Banquet
Wed
20
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
LNFS Presents: I Travel Because I Have To, I Come Back Because I Love You
LNFS Presents: The Big Lebowski
International Education Week Keynote Speaker: Christie Vilsack, Senior Advisor for International Education at USAID
Tobacco-free Tailgate 5 Year Anniversary
Bollywood Night
Thu
21
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
LNFS Presents: Water For Elephants
4th Annual Markesbery Symposium on Aging & Dementia
Freedom from Fear: On Black Childhood and Other Dangers
Bouldering @ Stone Fort
MEAT.
Fri
22
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
Bouldering @ Stone Fort
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Sat
23
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Much Ado About Nothing
Bouldering @ Stone Fort
UK Symphony Band and UK Concert Band
Sun
24
The Vexillology (the study of maps) Contest
Free Thanksgiving Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport
Mon
25
Free Thanksgiving Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport
Job Club - What is your money habitude?
Multicultural Student Thanksgiving Dinner
Tue
26
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Free Thanksgiving Shuttle to Blue Grass Airport
Wed
27
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Thu
28
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Fri
29
Thanksgiving - Academic Holidays
Free Saturday Swing Dance Lessons
Kentucky Volleyball vs. Arkansas
Sat
30
 
Sun
 
 
 
 
 
 

Repeats every week until Sat Nov 29 2014 except Sat Sep 20 2014, Sat Oct 18 2014.
Sat, 11/29/2014

Sat, 11/29/2014

Mon, 12/01/2014

Tue, 12/02/2014

Reset Page