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People who live in the Basin and Range of Nevada are accustomed to earthquakes, flash floods and wildfires. But UC professor Daniel Sturmer said this part of the United States has generated numerous, large landslides as well. This landslide-prone region includes parts of California, Utah and Arizona.
"Certainly, in the Basin and Range, it's a hazard that is vastly underestimated," he said.
Landslides - Attention - Disasters - Areas - Sturmer
Landslides get far less attention than other natural disasters because they typically occur in less populous areas, Sturmer said. But they can be devastating.
A landslide in Vajont, Italy, in 1963 killed more than 2,000 people after the face of a mountain crashed into a lake, creating a tsunami that scientists said had the force of nuclear bomb.
Sturmer - Assistant - Professor - Geology - UC
Sturmer, an assistant professor of geology in UC's McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, is working with the Nevada Bureau of Mines and Geology to add specific details on landslides to the state's map of known hazards. The interactive map includes areas prone to wildfires, flash-flood zones and earthquake fault lines.
"These failures frequently occur in El Niño years when you have a lot of rain. Fires exacerbate the problem because you don't have vegetative roots holding the soil in place. And then you get heavy rains," he said.
Sturmer - Project - Geological - Society - America
Sturmer presented the project to the Geological Society of America conference in Indianapolis in November.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) oversees a national landslide hazards program to reduce long-term losses from landslides and to understand what causes them. Landslides are responsible for as much as $3.5 billion in damage each year in the United States, according to the USGS. Rockfalls kill dozens of people every year, according to the agency.
Landslides - Imagination - Phrase - Landslide - Use
Landslides are never far from the popular imagination. The phrase "won by a landslide" has been in use in connection with elections since at least the 1840s.
In his 1880...
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