Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries (DOGAMI) have released a new guide to help homeowners identify and reduce landslide hazards around the home.
The pamphlet offers general guidance homeowners should consider regarding their home and property, including landslide warning signs and who to contact if they suspect active landslides on their property.
“Our job is to understand Washington’s complex geology and how it impacts the people who live here,” said State Geologist Dave Norman. “We want to make sure we put that information into their hands.”
Landslides common in Washington, Oregon
Landslides are one of the most common natural hazards in the Pacific Northwest. Due to their steep topography and heavy precipitation, Washington and Oregon are some of the most landslide-prone states in the country. This winter’s heavy snow and rain totals have resulted in a high number of landslides in both states.
Landslide conditions vary from site to site—if you are concerned about your property, it is always best to consult a professional.
As the official geological surveys of their respective states, DNR and DOGAMI are working to further the understanding of geologic hazards.
“Mapping and studying landslides and other hazards is an essential first step in identifying practical ways to reduce risk to Oregon’s people and communities,” said State Geologist Brad Avy.
Working to further landslide knowledge
Thanks to a legislative appropriation in 2015, DNR is collecting new, high-resolution lidar and using that data to produce maps of Washington’s geologic hazards, particularly landslides. Lidar can reveal past landslides otherwise obscured by vegetation. The Washington Lidar Portal is designed to allow for easy access and download of that information. To view the portal, visit: lidarportal.dnr.wa.gov. For more about lidar, visit www.dnr.wa.gov/lidar.
New mapping has increased knowledge of Oregon’s landslide hazards as well. A 2016 statewide landslide susceptibility map identified areas at risk for future landslides, which helps Oregonians better understand the potential hazard in their communities. DOGAMI’s interactive SLIDO map offers a look at landslide hazards, and is a useful tool for identifying areas that are susceptible to landslides: www.oregongeology.org/slido
The pamphlet is available online on the DNR website at http://file.dnr.wa.gov/publications/ger_homeowners_guide_landslides.pdf and the DOGAMI website at http://www.oregongeology.org/sub/Landslide/ger_homeowners_guide_landslides.pdf.
More information about landslides in Washington is available at http://www.dnr.wa.gov/programs-and-services/geology/geologic-hazards/landslides#landslide-hazards-in-washington-state.