Reducing Risk from Landslides
As the population base of Utah con-tinues to expand into areas that aresusceptible to landsliding, damageand economic costs of this naturalgeologic process increase. Rec-ognition of landslide risk prior todevelopment and implementationof appropriate land-use planningand landslide mitigation measuresare the most effective means toreduce their hazards. Many hill-slopes are prone to landsliding,particularly where development hastaken place on existing landslides
or where grading has modied a
slope and reduced its stability. InUtah, nearly all recent landslideshave occurred as reactivations ofpre-existing landslides. Therefore,historical landslides, prehistoriclandslides, and steep slopes proneto landsliding must be thoroughlyinvestigated prior to developmentactivities. When considering devel-opment on a hillslope or adjacentarea property, owners should con-sult with local planning and build-
ing ofcials, nearby property own
-ers, and geotechnical consultants
A 2010 generalized landslide map of Utah with more than 22,000 mapped
landslides shown in red (Utah Geological Survey compilation).
Landslide Warning Signs
Early recognition of landslide move-ment can be critical in attempts toavoid and/or minimize damage toproperty and structures. The fol-lowing signs may indicate landslidemovement:
New cracks or unusual bulgesin the ground, street pavements,or sidewalks.
Soil moving away from founda-tions and other rigid objects.
Decks and patios tilting and/ or moving relative to the mainhouse.
Tilting or cracking of walls, con-
crete oors, and foundations.•
Sticking doors and windows,and visible open spaces and/ or cracks, indicating jambs andframes out of plumb.
Leaning telephone poles, trees,retaining walls, or fences.
Sunken or down-dropped side-walks and pavements.
Springs, seeps, or saturatedground in areas that have nottypically been wet before.
• Rapid increase in stream ow,
possibly accompanied by in-creased turbidity (cloudy water).
Sudden decrease in stream
ow, though rain is still falling or
just recently stopped.