Forest landslides’ frequency, size influenced more by road building, logging than heavy rain

By Steve Lundeberg
College of Forestry – Oregon State University
January 17, 2023
Category: Forestry
Region: United States, US West

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A long-term Pacific Northwest study of landslides, clear-cutting timber and building roads shows that a forest’s management history has a greater impact on how often landslides occur and how severe they are compared to how much water is coursing through a watershed.  Findings of the research, led by associate forest engineering associate professor Catalina Segura and graduate student Arianna Goodman of the Oregon State University College of Forestry, were published in the journal Earth Surface Processes and Landforms.  Probing the factors behind landside frequency and magnitude is crucial because slides occur in all 50 states, causing an average of more than 25 deaths per year, according to the United States Geological Survey. The USGS puts the total annual average economic damage resulting from landslides at greater than $1 billion.

Read More