Landslide Occurrence and Causation in Steep Slope Areas of Appalachia

Newman, David
Organization: International Conference on Ground Control in Mining
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1998
Landslides and soil creep often occur with varying degrees of severity on steep slopes within Southern Appalachia. Ground movement may take place over years with subtle changes in topography and vegetation or it can occur rapidly in response to water inflow or disturbance at the toe of the landslide. Although the ground movement typically is restricted within the soil and colluvial layers, failure can extend into the weathered rock zone. Certain areas of Appalachia are described as "slide prone" because of historical precedent. To develop a profile of "slide prone" areas, the strength and physical properties of the soil and colluvium, topography, groundwater and surface water runoff, present and historical land use, and any surface disturbance are examined in detail. These attributes are useful in determining whether an area is potentially unstable before surface development including construction, logging, or mining. Recommendations are provided to avoid initiating ground movement concurrent with mining operations.
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