Monitoring Slump-Earthflow Complex Movement: A Southeastern Ohio Case Study
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Citation:The Ohio Journal of Science, v104, n5 (December, 2004), 126-135.
In the nonglaciated region of southeastern Ohio, slope failures are among the most prominent natural hazards. Slumps are the most common form of slope movement in this area. These rotational earthslides move downslope with minimal deformation along a concave failure plane. Although they are relatively slow moving, slumps can develop with little warning, causing damage to buildings, roads, and other features. Earthflows, also common on this landscape, move downslope on the surface with a high amount of mixing. Characterizing the behavior of slope failures is an essential step in mitigating their effects. Using an electronic total station, the movement of a slump-earthflow complex located near Athens, OH, was monitored over a 5-month period. The study area is approximately 100 m × 130 m. A grid of 90 points was located on the surface of the slope. Each point was surveyed 10 times. These data are plotted and correlated with precipitation and temperature data collected by the Scalia Laboratory for Atmospheric Analysis at Ohio University. Movement on the foot of the slump was significantly greater than movement on the toe and crown. Regression analysis indicates that precipitation was a statistically significant factor influencing slope movement, but only accounted for 7% of the movement. Temperature was a statistically significant factor as well, also accounting for only 7% of the movement. Empirical evidence suggests that antecedent precipitation plays an important role in slope movement in this area.
Author Institution: Dept of Geography, Ohio University
Rights:Reproduction of articles for non-commercial educational or research use granted without request if credit to The Ohio State University and The Ohio Academy of Science is given.
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