By: Taylor Emerson

Q: What is a Landslide?

A: Imagine a star walking the red carpet at Oscar night. Suddenly, some practical joker pulls the rug and the celebrity falls flat on their face.

That's a landslide.

A layer of rock or soil (the 'rug') is removed by ground water in a flood, earthquake or some other cause, leaving the top layer momentarily and precariously balanced. Then the slightest thing can cause the top layers to crumble and fall away.

Q: Where do landslides occur?

A: Although landslides can potentially occur in any state or region that contains steep slopes, certain states and geographical areas are more prone to them than others. The vast majority of landslides in the United States take place in Alaska, Hawaii and California, as well as parts of the Appalachian and Rocky Mountains. Spots where the ground is comprised of weakened and weathered materials and areas that lack vegetation or have been saturated by prolonged periods of rainfall are more likely to experience a landslide than are areas where the earth's surface is stable and dry and contains an abundance of vegetation with deep root systems.

Mountainous regions with steep slopes or drop-off cliffs-particularly those through which rivers or creeks rush or where ocean waves pound the sides-suffer a higher risk of a landfall occurring than inland areas where moving water is not present. Rapid snowmelt also can contribute to the start of a landslide as the massive amounts of water running down the side of a mountain pass can dislodge rocks and debris or loosen soil that has already been weakened or fractured by other geological events. There is a map below to show where extreme, minor, and major landslides happen.

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Click this button and you will enter a site about landslides. This site will tell you all about landslides, will answer some of your questions, and will tell you some facts you would have never known!

Disaster Risk Reduction of Landslide | Education Video | .mp4

Landslide Experiment

Want to see how a landslides work? Well you can, just try this Landslide Experiment at home and make your own landslide!
Do-it-yourself experiments-Landslide