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Landforms from Erosion and Deposition by Gravity

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The Language of Landslides
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The Language of Landslides

Credit: A Name Like Shields Can Make You Defensive
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/91156503@N00/2365899430
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

The San Francisco Bay Area has all the ingredients for dangerous landslides: steep hills, lots of rain, and heavy development. Add in an earthquake and you’ve got an even bigger disaster. Geologists study the scars to try to predict the next one.

Why It Matters

Credit: Oregon Department of Transportation
Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28364885@N02/12523443174
License: CC BY-NC 3.0

A Highway is closed due to a landslide [Figure2]

  • A landscape that is prone to landslides displays clues that can be deciphered by geologists.
  • The landslide investigators try to answer these questions:
    • Why did the landslide occur where and when it occurred?
    • Will another occur in the same spot?
    • Is there something we can do to prevent the next one or to minimize damage?
  • Landslides created or helped to create many of the canyons in the Bay Area hills.

Explore More

With the link below, learn more about landslides. Then answer the following questions.

  1. What are the two types of landslides that are common in the Bay Area?
  2. What conditions lead to a large slide?
  3. What happens to create a large landslide?
  4. What conditions create a slow, deep-seated landslide?
  5. How do younger houses in slow moving areas of the Berkeley Hills avoid getting cracks from shifting ground?
  6. What are the problems that downslope movement creates with property lines in the Berkeley Hills?

Image Attributions

  1. [1]^ Credit: A Name Like Shields Can Make You Defensive; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/91156503@N00/2365899430; License: CC BY-NC 3.0
  2. [2]^ Credit: Oregon Department of Transportation; Source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28364885@N02/12523443174; License: CC BY-NC 3.0

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