Different types of landslides

There are five basic ways to categorize the different types of flows a landslide can have on top of the different types of landslides whether its rotational or translation. The different type of flows also has an effect on how damaging it will be on the surrounding environment.

The first type of landslide that we look at is, landslides caused by water. This tends to be a slope that becomes saturated by water during heavy rains; also the most common type of landslide. Other ways that the land can become saturated is by snowmelts, change in water levels along the coast, dams, banks of lakes and rivers. These can all have saturating affects on the landscape causing slides to occur. Most landslides tend to occur due to the fact of over saturation because of the environment it is surround by, and the land can just not hold that much water so gravity comes into play at this point. The water landslide is very damaging to the surrounding areas because it can cause flooding and dams that block water runoff making the problem worse. This can also occur due to rain getting into the rock and freezing then thawing then freezing again it creates a pocket and after a while the pocket becomes too big and cannot support the mass of the rock and it slides off like the incident that occurred on interstate 40.

The second most common type of landslide is one caused by seismic activity. These happen to occur somewhat frequent all over the world do to plate tectonics and the shifting of plates. Earthquakes are a large reason for landslides to occur because the steep land mass cannot absorb the shaking of an earthquake on its own and a correlation between ground saturation and the earthquake calls for a killer landslide. This occurs along the Western coast due to the transforming plate bounders around California, Washington and Alaska.  One of the most well known ones happened to be the 1964 Great Alaska earthquake. This caused ground failure up and down the Western coast, also rock slides occurred because of the ground shaking causing the rocks to loosen up.

The third most common one happens to be landslides caused by volcanic activity, these tend to be very bad because due to the fact that there is a volcano occurring the heat from this will melt snow on mountain tops causing saturation of the ground to occur rapidly causing a devastating landslide to occur. But along with the landslide in this case there would also be ash, pyroclastic flow, soil and rock causing a horrific event. This type of event to occur would destroy everything in its path, this type of slide is also known as by the name of “lahars” which can stretch great distances with the ability to damage anything in the flat areas surrounding the volcano. The most infamous volcano eruption that occurred in this matter would have to be Mount St. Helens in Washington, this was the largest landslide recorded till this day.  In this image it depicts the landscape that slide from its original place at the top of the mountain to the base. The reason for this landslide was because of the viscosity of the volcano it was to thick, so it ripped apart the volcano and the ground wasn’t strong enough to support itself so gravity came into affect and the land mass went the only place it could downwards with gravity.

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3 Responses to Different types of landslides

  1. bw44c says:

    Good topic. I had no idea the amount of damage that occurred during a landslide was related to what type of rotation it had. Actually I did not even know there were different types of rotation. I thought debris slid down the hill or mountain.

  2. amelianavarro says:

    I know we went over landslides briefly in class, but I don’t recall going this in-depth about them. I never gave thought to different types of landslides, and I’m happy you wrote this. It really broadened my knowledge on this aspect of geology.

  3. mattgwilt says:

    I didn’t know that landslides were so dependent on land saturation. This is a pretty good post to help study for the exam.

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